THE Government has approved a new interim executive board of governors for Richmond School after the previous governors resigned en-masse.

Announcing details of the new board, North Yorkshire County Council has revealed the background to what led the previous governing body to resign.

The authority said it challenged the governing body after becoming concerned that the breakdown in relationship between members and the senior school leadership team would have caused the quality of education to suffer.

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The council said in a statement: “The school needed a strong governing body which would work in partnership with the school’s leadership and provide the necessary critical challenge and support to that leadership team.

"The governing body did not share the same evaluation as reached by the local authority and did not feel able to make the changes in governance and strategic approach proposed by the local authority.

“The governing body chose not to use the option of appealing to Ofsted but chose to resign rather than bring about the changes the local authority had sought.”

The authority said the strategic approach included working with other schools locally and nationally to drive up standards.

Under headteacher Ian Robertson’s leadership, Richmond School had “embraced this agenda wholeheartedly rather than adopting an inward-looking and narrower academic focus”, the council added.

According to the council, the quality of teaching had significantly improved since Mr Robertson arrived in 2010 and the school had seen an “improving trend in results”.

The authority said the new governors would review all key school issues as a matter of urgency and would hold a parents’ meeting as a matter of urgency.

Pete Dwyer, North Yorkshire’s corporate director for the children and young people’s service, said: “This new board is made up of very strong and experienced members who will provide the necessary strategic direction for the school and its leaders.

“These governors are made up of highly regarded current and former headteachers, chairs of governors and other professionals with a proven track record in community relations and improvement strategies.”

Members of the Richmond School interim executive board are: Chair Chris Lewis: former secondary school headteacher and previous chair of Sherburn High School interim executive board.

David Lawrenson: former deputy chief executive of Richmondshire District Council.

Philippa Cooper: chair of an outstanding primary school that leads the Swaledale Alliance for the area.

Colonel Stephen Padgett: Commander of Catterick Garrison.

Martin Pearman: headteacher of Ripon Grammar School.

Judy Hooton: chair of interim executive boards for another local authority.