Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Online Petition demands resignation of Grammar School chair of governers

More than a 100 people have formally demanded the chair of governors at a Merseyside grammar school quits amid the continued absence of its headteacher.

Angry parents and other supporters of West Kirby’s Calday Grange Grammar school have turned to the power of the internet and made their feelings known in an online petition.

The top performing school’s headteacher, Andrew Hall, was suspended just over a year ago and was later told he faced 13 allegations which ranged from failure to report a foetus in a jar to being part of a bullying regime in the school.

Mr Hall, recovering from heart failure in April which friends blame on his enforced absence, had his suspension lifted last month – almost a year to the day after he was told to stay away from the school he had led since 2002.

But parents’ hopes for a swift reinstatement of Mr Hall were dashed with school governors confirming he will be “re-suspended” and put before a disciplinary panel as soon as he does go back.

Since the departure of Mr Hall, the school governors have faced parents and government concerns over the school’s governance and its trust status which saw it enlist Liverpool University, Unilever and Maestro Services Ltd as partners to share expertise and formally contribute to the running of the school. And Ofsted has also confirmed it is probing parents’ claims “broken governance” is hitting standards at the top-performing school.

An online petition sent to both Ofsted and the school has been set up by former pupil and head boy Anthony Phillips.

The petition demands the “reinstatement of Mr Hall as head master of Calday Grange Grammar School” and adds: “We also want the chair of governors, Margaret Twemlow, to step down.”

It has already attracted the signatures of 110 supporters, including Matthew Baylis who said an interim governing body from another local authority should take over to decide whether Mr Hall should be reinstated.

He said: “The governors should all stand down. A fresh pair of eyes is what is needed.”

But chair of governors Margaret Twemlow insisted: “I will be not be standing down.”

She added: “Mr Hall could only be reinstated if he went through the correct process of a disciplinary hearing. It was not the governors who decided Mr Hall had a case to answer but the result of an independent investigation carried out by Wirral council.

“As a governing body, we have followed due process and robustly sought to conclude matters for approximately the last seven months but have been unsuccessful due to matters beyond our control.”

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