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Outgoing King Charles headteacher hits back at Ofsted and engages solicitors
7:00am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
The former headteacher of a Falmouth primary school has hit back at Ofsted inspectors whose damning report forced her departure and put the school into Special Measures.
Heather Taylor, 53, had been in charge of King Charles school since 2006. But two weeks ago an Ofsted report condemned the quality of teaching at the school and Mrs Taylor was replaced. Mrs Taylor has engaged solicitors to prepare for a possible employment tribunal, alleging constructive dismissal.
The Ofsted report was particularly critical of the quality of maths teaching, and while some parents agreed with its findings and are relieved by Mrs Taylor’s departure, others were sorry to see her go and believe she has been poorly treated by the council. The council has refused to comment, saying it cannot provide details about individual staffing matters.
But in a statement to the Packet, Mrs Taylor defended her stewardship of the school and rounded on the lead Ofsted inspector, John Cavill, who she accused of a “politically motivated” report. The report highlights a failure among pupils who are in receipt of free school meals to make the progress required of them. Mrs Taylor disputed the relevance of this criteria to the overall assessment of the school.
Mrs Taylor also questioned Mr Cavill’s qualifications, saying his own teaching experience stemmed only from secondary education. “His conduct has also been questioned by a number of parents, a group of whom had waited for a significant time to see him. “He dismissed their positive views,” she said. “Given his attitude, a number of parents have acted independently to complain to Ofsted and have written to Sarah Newton, MP for Falmouth and Truro, to express their concerns.”
Ofsted said its inspection team had visited 26 lessons and observed 15 teachers. They took account of 75 responses to the online Parent View survey and 38 responses to the staff questionnaire. They also received four letters from parents. An Ofsted spokesman said: ““Ofsted does not comment on individual employees. However, all school inspectors have qualified teacher status or a recognised teaching qualification.
“Inspectors also receive on-going training to ensure they maintain the right skills and a broad knowledge and understanding across a range of education settings, so that they can inspect both primary and secondary schools to a high standard.”