THE chair of an interim school governing body brought in after the previous governors resigned en-masse has himself stepped down.

Members of the interim executive board (IEB) at Richmond School will meet on Wednesday to discuss their next step following the resignation of chairman Chris Lewis.

IEB members say that despite the resignation they remain committed to learning lessons and helping the school move forward after a period of upheaval.

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The IEB was put in place after the previous governing body stepped down shortly after receiving an official warning letter from North Yorkshire County Council.

It has since emerged that the letter was issued after the relationship between the governors and the senior leadership team at the school broke down.

Pete Dwyer, corporate director for children and young people's service at the county council, said Mr Lewis, a former secondary school head, had resigned following the publicity surrounding the fall-out.

He added: “My understanding is that it’s been the level and intensity of challenge to himself and the IEB from the media and elsewhere that’s led him to review the commitment that he’s made.”

The remaining five members will now work with the county council to find a replacement chair.

In an interview with The Northern Echo, IEB member Colonel Stephen Padgett, commander of Catterick Garrison, said members would be speaking to as many people as possible– including the former governors - to identify any issues over governance at the school.

“I am very heartened in the fact that the local authority, when asking the current IEB members to join this board, picked people who bring a range of useful, interesting skills and experience, but also very evidently independent thinkers.”

Col Padgett said that while they would seek as many opinions as possible from stakeholders, they would form their own views on the way forward.

IEB member Philippa Cooper, a former chair of Brompton-on-Swale School governing body who has a child at Richmond School, added that members wanted to gather as much “intelligence” as possible.

“We’re looking at this from a fresh perspective and gathering evidence, while knowing what a good governing body should look like and making sure that’s in place.”

Richmond county councillor Stuart Parsons called for Mr Lewis’ resignation after the former chair asked him to leave a meeting between IEB members and parents.

“While it is always sad to see someone resign, I think this is the right thing for the school,” he said.