Apology to parents kept in the dark after governing body at Cobholm Primary in Great Yarmouth was removed

Cobholm Primary school Headteacher Julie Risby, who is currently on sick leave Cobholm Primary school Headteacher Julie Risby, who is currently on sick leave

Thursday, March 27, 2014
9:00 AM

Parents at a primary school in special measures were not told for nearly a month that its governors had been removed and replaced with an interim executive board.

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The chairman of the IEB said she was sorry parents at Cobholm Primary School in Great Yarmouth were not told until March 20 about the changes to the governing body, which happened on February 24.

Ofsted has returned to the school three times since it was put in special measures last April, and after its last visit in February it said the school was not making enough progress.

Headteacher Julie Risby has since gone on sick leave, and Karen Winter, substantive deputy headteacher of Norwich Road Academy in Thetford, has taken over as temporary head.

Stephen Pullinger, a parent and former chair of governors, said he was shocked it took so long for parents to be told about the new governing body, and one parent who had tried to contact governors about disruption at the school had been unable to make contact.

Fiona McDiarmid, IEB chair, said: “We realise we should have contacted parents sooner about the appointment of an IEB at the school and would like to apologise for not doing so. However, we are fully committed to turning Cobholm Primary around and with the support of parents, pupils and with a new temporary headteacher in place, we believe we can achieve this.

“We have written to parents to let them know our door is open, should they need to discuss any concerns they may have. As far as I am aware, at no point has any member of staff refused a request to speak to us.”

Norfolk County Council said it appointed the new governing body with the agreement of its predecessor, but Tony Wright, former governor and former Great Yarmouth MP, said: “We had no option. We could have delayed it but clearly everything was in place and governors took the view it would have been useless to object.”

Two of the three members of the IEB work for Norfolk County Council, but the council said the board was independent.

Is the council right? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

8 comments

  • Looks like the council have learnt absolutely nothing from their treatment of Cavell, which they admitted months ago was very badly handled. The IEB are clearly not independent - how could they be, given their employers? They've undoubtedly been appointed to convert the school into an academy, whatever the benefits to the school or the opinions of parents and staff, because that's what Gove wants, and we can't go upsetting Mr Gove, can we? Cobholm parents should beware - the standard IEB approach is to make a grand show of listening, and then to go ahead and do what they were going to do anyway. Don't be fooled by the facade.

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    djw

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • Spot on Fenscape and who cares about the children then? We can now see that academies aren't the answer yet with academies parents are completely shut out.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • Yes that is poor Fly Tipper......we all need open, honest dialogue.

    Report this comment

    Sportswagon

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • It is inexcusable to leave Parents Carers of pupils at the school without a voice for that long. What is interesting is that is would appear that this is Councillor Mick Castle doing ill on his own doorstep this time, with Cobholm Primary falling within his Great Yarmouth Ward. Surprising therefore that Norfolk County Council have not offered their own apology. But then, as Cavell School knows, they profess to do no wrong - wherever they act. I wonder if this time it will be reflected when Mick Castle comes up for re-election. Those affected at Cobholm have my sympathies as they are probably now in for a rough ride where their children are never, ever put first :(

    Report this comment

    Tina B

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • ...."one parent who had tried to contact governors about disruption at the school had been unable to make contact"....behaviour within the school comes under routine day to day running of the school, and is the responsibility of the paid school management not the Governors. Governors are a sort of background guiding hand, they are not paid to listen to every parents particular agenda or gripe.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • It is not uncommon for NCC personnel in high places to suppress information of this kind for as long as possible. Of course it all feeds into what the council do best for education - show weak leadership and ultimately fail the children. The head has unfortunately been caught in their crossfire and predictably, will be paid off at great expense not only to the taxpayer but will pale into insignificance in terms of the effects on her health.

    Report this comment

    One Horse Town

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • The LEA are falling over themselves to do Gove's bidding as quickly as possible on any school that slides into Special Measures. Why? Could it be because when a school academises it becomes a new entity and thus cannot be considered to be in Measures from the off. All of a sudden, the pressure is off the LEA when it comes to their own Ofsted failings....

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

  • ...."yet with academies parents are completely shut out.".....And so are the Governors in this school.....perhaps they were not very good at their job?

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Thursday, March 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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