Concerns mount after resignation of Stevenage Barclay Academy’s headteacher
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Concerns surrounding the future of Stevenage’s Barclay Academy following a forced takeover are mounting in the wake of the headteacher’s resignation.
The secondary school was taken over by Future Academies Trust on February 1 after it was rated inadequate and put in special measures by Ofsted in 2016.
Mark Allchorn’s arrival in September 2016 had led to a significant improvement in the school, noted by Ofsted, but he announced his resignation as head in a letter to parents two weeks ago.
Charles Hawkins, a member of the Hands Off Barclay campaign group, said: “He was tirelessly dedicated to improving the school. Now we have uncertainty and instability and all the good work that was underway is being undermined.”
One parent said: “My son is really worried. He has ASD and the changes have already had an impact on him. He cried when he knew Mr Allchorn was leaving.”
You may also want to watch:
In the same letter to parents, Future Academies confirmed a new principal – Dr Matthew Laban – had already been appointed to take over after the Easter break in April.
A former Barclay teacher said: “How curious his replacement should be announced simultaneously and happens to be a headteacher already employed in a Future Academies school. Was the post advertised to find the best candidate for the job? Where is the provision for equal opportunities?”
- 1 Multiple cars involved in A1(M) collision
- 2 Letchworth and Baldock Sergeant set to retire after two decades in Herts
- 3 Plans drawn up to reduce places at primary schools due to surplus
- 4 Delivery driver forced to floor in mobile phone robbery
- 5 Devastated wife pays tribute to Stewart Macgregor following e-scooter accident
- 6 Stevenage in UK's top 25 for community spirit
- 7 6 of the best places to hot tub in and around Hertfordshire
- 8 Bowling alley refurb celebrated in Hollywood style
- 9 Dozens die after catching COVID-19 in our hospitals
- 10 Misogyny as a hate crime 'would get us nowhere'
Dr Laban, who is deputy chairman of the Hertford and Stortford Conservative Association, has been headteacher of six London schools in just seven years – with all but one academies.
Councillor Sharon Taylor, leader of Stevenage Borough Council, is calling for a public inquiry into the academisation process.
She said: “With no process to go through for the selection of the trust that takes that school on, it is entirely flawed.
“If we tried to let a contract like that we would have the auditors down on us like a tonne of bricks.
“It’s totally inconsistent with all the principles of transparency and democracy.
“The wishes of the staff, parents, students and community were ignored and decisions taken away from any local accountability.”
Martyn Henson, headteacher of Stevenage’s Nobel School, said of Mr Allchorn: “The town has lost a real champion; a man with great skill, integrity and charisma.”