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Parents of Coddington Church of England Primary School launch petition in support of acting headteacher

Nearly 300 parents have signed a petition of support for a school’s deputy head after governors failed to shortlist him for the headteacher role.

Mr Tim Head has been acting head at Coddington Church of England Primary School since the start of the pandemic.

However, he has not been offered an interview for the permanent position.

Coddington C of E Primary School (45752814)
Coddington C of E Primary School (45752814)

In a statement, Nottinghamshire County Council said process was overseen by the local authority in partnership with the diocese to ensure a robust, fair and transparent process.

But one parent, Frances Overbury, said in an open letter: “The majority of parents from the school firmly believe that Mr Head is the right person to continue leading our school and in a permanent capacity as headteacher.

“No one knows the school better and he has proven himself worthy of this even before the trials of the ongoing pandemic. Mr Head has united the teachers and is always actively interacting with parents, physically outside of school and in correspondence.

“He genuinely cares for all of the pupils and has gone out of his way to look after us all and works tirelessly to represent all of our school’s core values. He knows, it seems, all of the children, which is incredible in such a large school.

“He is a human being at a time when we need one who everyone feels safe in talking to about anything.”

Frances said the number of signatures amassed by the petition ­— 280 as the Advertiser went to press ­— in a short time showed a common opinion.

“We are stunned at the prospect of him not being able to continue as our headteacher,” she said.

“We do not understand why he is not being considered. The school needs stability more than ever right now in these uncertain times and Mr Head is already providing that.

“I fear that if he is not given the opportunity to carry on as headteacher then we are at serious risk of losing him completely

“It is utterly illogical and would be an outrage to not allow him to be interviewed and to continue leading our wonderful school.”

Steve Mower, who has a daughter in year one and a daughter who left the school in the summer, said he noticed a difference as soon as he took charge.

“The school has roughly 330 pupils and it has been signed by 250-plus parents,” he said. “It is clear a lot of the parents aren’t happy.

“Mr Head has done a brilliant job during the pandemic. The communication has been brilliant and he has kept everybody informed.

“But now they’re interviewing three different people for the job. He isn’t even shortlisted. I am more angry at the fact that he isn’t being given the chance to interview for the post.

“He has been in the role for the past year and he has done a fantastic job, but it will go to one of three people who know nothing about the school or the community whatsoever.”

Zara Gregory, who has two daughters at the school, asked: “If Mr Head is not fit for the role how have they allowed him to lead the school for the last year? And they now expect us, as parents and a community, to not question this?”

Marion Clay, Nottinghamshire County Council’s service director, education, learning and skills, said: “The local authority and diocese are working very closely with the school’s leadership and governors. I am aware of the disquiet within the community and we are ensuring that the school’s leadership is supported at this time.

“A petition is circulating questioning the recent recruitment process. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure parents and the wider community that the process was overseen by the local authority in partnership with the diocese, as is standard practice to ensure a robust, fair and transparent process.

“I understand that at times parents and carers may feel passionately about an issue such as this. The past year has been a turbulent time and I would like to thank everyone at the school for doing all they can to ensure that the best possible education has been provided to the children.”

The school did not comment.

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