Governors of Richmond School were issued with warning notice from county council

Richmond School

Richmond School

First published in News
Last updated
The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Richmond)

THE governors at a secondary school resigned en masse after being issued with a warning notice by North Yorkshire County Council, it has emerged.

The shock resignation of the entire governing body at Richmond School took place on Monday following a dispute with the headteacher and local education authority.

Parents have demanded answers about the reasons behind the resignations, as officials have so far refused to reveal what prompted the fall-out.

It has now emerged that a warning notice was issued to the governors under the Education and Inspections Act 2006, which is used when the local education authority believes there is a serious breakdown in the way a school is governed which is prejudicing, or likely to prejudice, standards of performance.

The former governors of Richmond School, led by chairwoman Anne Skeoch, wrote to Peter Dwyer and Janet Bates of North Yorkshire County Council's children and young peoples’ service department, to say they found the grounds on which a warning notice was based to be biased.

Their letter states: "The governing body is disturbed the local authority did not provide any substantive evidence to support the conclusions recorded in the notice; furthermore, there appeared to be a reluctance to disclose such evidence.

"You confirmed that there had been no prior discussion with any member of the governing body to test the validity of the conclusions recorded in the notice."

The letter pointed out that a 2013 Ofsted report, based upon an inspection carried out in February 2013, said "strong leadership, including the work of the governing body, is driving secure, swift and sustained improvements in students’ progress.”

The governors added: "The notice delivered by you at the meeting on Thursday, February 13, records conclusions entirely at odds with the Ofsted conclusions.

"We have concluded the combined actions of the headteacher and the local authority have fatally undermined the ability of this body to comply with its statutory duties of effectively monitoring and holding to account the school leadership team.

"Whilst we believe there are extensive grounds for challenging the notice, governors have serious reservations now as to the possibility of sound governance at the school, whether by this or a new body."

North Yorkshire County Councillor Arthur Barker has said no safeguarding issues are involved, and said an interim executive board would now be appointed, followed by a new governing body. 

"The day-to-day running of the school and the educational provision for pupils will not be affected," he said.

Comments (9)

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7:04pm Fri 21 Feb 14

SS says...

Blah blah blah......political waffle
Blah blah blah......political waffle SS
  • Score: -5

9:02am Sat 22 Feb 14

359282 says...

I recall a recent article in the echo describing Health Service officials trying to have local elected board members censured for 'bullying', when actually ,it appeared that all they were doing was holding the publicly paid servants to account.
This appears to have the same whiff of publicly funded servants finding ways of stifling any dissenting voice.
Hopefully the Echo will get the full story in due course, because this looks like officialdom has tried to stitch up these governors .
I recall a recent article in the echo describing Health Service officials trying to have local elected board members censured for 'bullying', when actually ,it appeared that all they were doing was holding the publicly paid servants to account. This appears to have the same whiff of publicly funded servants finding ways of stifling any dissenting voice. Hopefully the Echo will get the full story in due course, because this looks like officialdom has tried to stitch up these governors . 359282
  • Score: 6

2:34pm Sat 22 Feb 14

spragger says...

LEA's are a disaster, get a Free School putting parents & pupils first.
Not useless Local Authorities & Teaching unions
LEA's are a disaster, get a Free School putting parents & pupils first. Not useless Local Authorities & Teaching unions spragger
  • Score: -9

2:52pm Sat 22 Feb 14

i dont believe it!!! says...

Yeah that's right spragger. The same free schools that aren't politically driven and remove school funding from current schools.
Yeah that's right spragger. The same free schools that aren't politically driven and remove school funding from current schools. i dont believe it!!!
  • Score: 2

4:23pm Sat 22 Feb 14

359282 says...

We'll, I'm so pleased that this debate hasn't been reduced to the oldd political dog fight !
We'll, I'm so pleased that this debate hasn't been reduced to the oldd political dog fight ! 359282
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Sat 22 Feb 14

i dont believe it!!! says...

Something has gone on there. We don't know the full ins and outs so until we do then people like spragger should keep quiet about free schools.

They are not free and remove funding from existing schools. How can that be better?
Something has gone on there. We don't know the full ins and outs so until we do then people like spragger should keep quiet about free schools. They are not free and remove funding from existing schools. How can that be better? i dont believe it!!!
  • Score: 4

4:49pm Sat 22 Feb 14

privatewriter says...

It is obvious from what we already know that the Head and the LEA are happy to let the Governors and the public believe that the Governing Body have a say in the running of the school, until it does not suit them. Then we have seen how the Head manages the Governors. The same as he has treated many staff and students that don't fit in, he bullies and makes it so difficult and unpleasant for them that they choose to leave
It is obvious from what we already know that the Head and the LEA are happy to let the Governors and the public believe that the Governing Body have a say in the running of the school, until it does not suit them. Then we have seen how the Head manages the Governors. The same as he has treated many staff and students that don't fit in, he bullies and makes it so difficult and unpleasant for them that they choose to leave privatewriter
  • Score: 6

7:29pm Sat 22 Feb 14

sineater says...

Get free schools ,who put the pupils and teachers first,what like the free schools that take funding from state schools and overspend on minute numbers of pupils.Or the ones that have to be closed down ,because the standard of education is so poor,or the free schools that have been caught stealing funding for their own purposes,another brilliant idea from Spragger ha ha ha .
Get free schools ,who put the pupils and teachers first,what like the free schools that take funding from state schools and overspend on minute numbers of pupils.Or the ones that have to be closed down ,because the standard of education is so poor,or the free schools that have been caught stealing funding for their own purposes,another brilliant idea from Spragger ha ha ha . sineater
  • Score: 1

10:37pm Sat 22 Feb 14

Davy Crocket says...

Too many little Hitlers run schools these days ...
Too many little Hitlers run schools these days ... Davy Crocket
  • Score: -1

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