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‘Staff exodus’ at Clerkenwell Parochial School as all but two teachers resign en masse

PUBLISHED: 11:27 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:32 31 July 2018

Clerkenwell Parochial School, pictured in 2011 during a protest against road users ignoring their zebra crossing. Picture: Dieter Perry

Clerkenwell Parochial School, pictured in 2011 during a protest against road users ignoring their zebra crossing. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

All but two teachers are leaving Clerkenwell Parochial Primary School in an apparent mass exodus, the Gazette has learnt.

A letter from head Amanda Szewczyk-Radley on June 22 announced eight of the school’s 10 teachers would move on in September or February. An office worker and a caretaker are also understood to be upping sticks. But the school stressed all teaching vacancies have already been filled for September.

One parent, whose seven-year-old daughter attends the school in Amwell Street, called the resignations “concerning”.

They told the Gazette: “We used to be proud to send our kids here. I’ve tried to ask why they’re leaving but it’s like the teachers have signed the Official Secrets Act. What I learned is the teachers are leaving because they don’t agree with the behaviour policy and the headteacher doesn’t support them with behaviour management.”

These claims are also strongly denied by Ms Szewczyk-Radley, who took over in September after the school became an academy under the London Diocesan Board for Schools (LDBS) Academies Trust.

She said: “Absolutely no one has been pushed out or sacked from the school and not all the teaching staff have left. Budget constraints have meant we have had to consider the staffing structure, but I am pleased to say the teaching and teaching assistant structure remains unaffected. We have recruited teachers to all posts for next year who share our values and vision, and have chosen to join our team at Clerkenwell at this exciting point.”

Ms Szewczyk-Radley admitted behaviour management was an issue when she first took over, but claims it has improved and the school now has a more “proactive approach to SEN [special educational needs] provision”.

She included three testimonials in support of her leadership from a parent governor and two parents in her reply to the Gazette.

Elizabeth Wolverson, chief exec of LDBS Academies Trust, said: “A number of teachers have left, so we recruited some more experienced teachers. They came in to what they thought was one job and decided that, while they were employed, the standards have raised.”

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