Sidmouth schools merger concern

SIR - Has the following occurred to the three head teachers driving the school changes in primary education in Sidmouth?

l to praise a plan of your own making creates a perception in some parents of professional vanity and insularity;

l the consultation process has proven predictably inert and their requests for feedback then nonsensical when they have wholly failed to address concerns already raised;

l to deal in tired old platitudes like “we have children at heart” only damages their credibility further, more so in the complete absence of any hard commitment to measurably better student outcomes and in the light of the recent downgrading of St Nicholas from “good” to “satisfactory” by Ofsted under Mr Walker’s leadership;

l to seek publicly to challenge the undoubted perception in some parents of their professional vested interests strongly at play here just heightens scepticism about them, the lady “doth protest too much”.

Most pertinently now, Mr Walker, despite having led a school from an Ofsted judgment of “good” shortly after his initial appointment to a recent downgraded judgment of “satisfactory”, has secured very significant professional development and it is critical to his integrity and credibility that the next Ofsted inspection is significantly improved or he and his head teacher colleagues and the governing bodies who have driven this change will have served only themselves and not our children.

To resort to clich�, the talk has been talked, now Mr Walker must deliver. Those of us deeply unsettled by recent developments and their handling will be watching very closely. Until the next Ofsted then.

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