Mayor of Basildon calls for sponsor and chairman of governors at Academies to step down

Mayor of Basildon calls for sponsor and chairman of governors at Academies to step down

Mayor of Basildon calls for sponsor and chairman of governors at Academies to step down

First published in News by

A HIGH profile Basildon politician has called for the millionaire sponsor and chairman of governors at the Basildon Academies to step down.

Mayor Mo Larkin, represents Pitsea South East and has worked as a school governor for 27 years, said she was “disgusted” that Les Livermore was getting paid £63,000 to be employed as the chief executive officer of the Academy Trust and also be the chairman of the school governors. She also called for the school to be put back under local authority control.

Mr Livermore, who was a governor before Chalvedon and Barstable Schools merged, has his own office on site in the old caretaker’s office as well as his own secretary at the Upper Academy in Wickford Avenue, Pitsea.

Mrs Larkin’s comments come after the Echo published a list of former headteacher Dr Rory Fox’s grievances in a damning letter to the governors. Dr Fox raised concerns about the educational expertise of the sponsor Martin Finegold, who is an American banker, and how governance were undermining his attempts to take the school.

Mrs Larkin said: “The current set up of the sponsor and the chairman of governors is clearly not working and something has to be done.

“I don’t think they should run the school anymore and the local authority should take it over. it is disgusting that one person is being paid more than £60,000 which is coming directly out of the school’s budget to pay for the chairman of the governors and his secretary.

“This is literally taking money away from children in the classroom and that is not right. I have worked for schools in our borough for 27 years and I have never heard of one person being paid to do two roles.

“I believe there is total conflict in the position Mr Livermore is representing and this school needs good leadership. If it was able to go back under local authority control then I would put myself forward as a candidate for chairman of the governors. “This school is in my community and I care about it a lot.”

Education chiefs at Essex County Council are also looking into what is going on at the Academies- which currently teaches across two sites in Timberlog Close and Wickford Avenue.

Mr Livermore said the governing body was turning the school around. The Academies did secure its best GCSEs this summer with a 45 per cent pass rate.

He added: "In a monitoring visit undertaken by Ofsted in September, both Academies have been judged as making progress towards removal from Special Measures and it was confirmed that governors communicated a clear vision for the Academies improvement and had an unequivocal expectation of staff and pupils.

"Governors were judged as sufficiently well informed to be able to support the Academy in its drive for rapid improvement.

"I hope that Mrs Larkin will agree that the Governing Body should be supported by the local community in its drive to improve the life chances for our children, which in turn will enable the local community to be developed in a positive and sustainable way."

Stephen Castle, the councillor with responsibility for education, said the school was at the top of his agenda and he was having regular meetings with Secretary of State for education Michael Gove.

He added: “This is an issue for the academies which is a school which is not under local authority control. However we wish Rory the best in his future and we will work with Mrs Bell as the new school leader.

"We are really keen for her to build on the improvements that have happened this year and this was shown in the improved GCSE results which rose by 12 per cent.

“I have met with Michael Gove on a number of occasions about the school and we will do everything we can to work with them.”

Comments (17)

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9:17am Fri 30 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

Members of public in Basildon call for Ma Larkin to sep down
Members of public in Basildon call for Ma Larkin to sep down Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

9:17am Fri 30 Nov 12

Eric Whim says...

step down, sorry
step down, sorry Eric Whim
  • Score: 0

9:37am Fri 30 Nov 12

Discouraged says...

Wherever there is public compulsory funding: the BBC the NHS, the education system, councils etc etc there are those who think: I can get a free holiday, a few hundred thousand to quit, I can get my son a job etc etc etc. We are mugs for allowing this to happen.
Wherever there is public compulsory funding: the BBC the NHS, the education system, councils etc etc there are those who think: I can get a free holiday, a few hundred thousand to quit, I can get my son a job etc etc etc. We are mugs for allowing this to happen. Discouraged
  • Score: 0

9:47am Fri 30 Nov 12

spectator says...

Totally agree with Mo Larkin. These two have totally betrayed the kids of east Basildon.
Totally agree with Mo Larkin. These two have totally betrayed the kids of east Basildon. spectator
  • Score: 1

10:18am Fri 30 Nov 12

notinwestcliffanymore says...

Welcome to the world of acadamies, peoples own little kingdoms with your kids in the middle.
Welcome to the world of acadamies, peoples own little kingdoms with your kids in the middle. notinwestcliffanymore
  • Score: 1

11:03am Fri 30 Nov 12

TheWizzard says...

Eric Whim wrote:
step down, sorry
Unelected (by the public) tory mayor of Basildon who voted with the others to sell off playing fields to developers
[quote][p][bold]Eric Whim[/bold] wrote: step down, sorry[/p][/quote]Unelected (by the public) tory mayor of Basildon who voted with the others to sell off playing fields to developers TheWizzard
  • Score: 0

11:13am Fri 30 Nov 12

daninorth says...

I'm so grateful that someone in authority is speaking up at last! Would love to hear what Micheal Gove has to say on these matters, but I would imagine he'd be rather defensive about academies in general. It's disgraceful all these children have had to suffer along with their education,it's just wicked. I will fight against these un-thought out academies & will try to make as many people aware of the issues.
Our govement just want to wash their hands of the responsibility of schools,but have not thought the implications of this out. In their rush have they forgotten that our children will one day be looking after us? They need a decent education!
I'm so grateful that someone in authority is speaking up at last! Would love to hear what Micheal Gove has to say on these matters, but I would imagine he'd be rather defensive about academies in general. It's disgraceful all these children have had to suffer along with their education,it's just wicked. I will fight against these un-thought out academies & will try to make as many people aware of the issues. Our govement just want to wash their hands of the responsibility of schools,but have not thought the implications of this out. In their rush have they forgotten that our children will one day be looking after us? They need a decent education! daninorth
  • Score: 1

11:15am Fri 30 Nov 12

graham007 says...

The conflict of interest between the two roles Les Livermore holds is surely not something that Ofsted can ignore!

How can they think this is ok?
The conflict of interest between the two roles Les Livermore holds is surely not something that Ofsted can ignore! How can they think this is ok? graham007
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

daninorth wrote:
I'm so grateful that someone in authority is speaking up at last! Would love to hear what Micheal Gove has to say on these matters, but I would imagine he'd be rather defensive about academies in general. It's disgraceful all these children have had to suffer along with their education,it's just wicked. I will fight against these un-thought out academies & will try to make as many people aware of the issues.
Our govement just want to wash their hands of the responsibility of schools,but have not thought the implications of this out. In their rush have they forgotten that our children will one day be looking after us? They need a decent education!
Good point, not that Michael Gove gives two figs at the moment. You only have to look to Palmers in Grays for example which I believe is still a charitable trust academy to see how a College should be run proper ! Totally unacceptable that the students should be confronted with this total ineptitude; added to this is the potential Prospect venture which is a total no no for a start - will be trashed within months with a totally unfocused student entry that will be claiming all kinds of subsistence and benefit such as EMA and then bunking off again.....
[quote][p][bold]daninorth[/bold] wrote: I'm so grateful that someone in authority is speaking up at last! Would love to hear what Micheal Gove has to say on these matters, but I would imagine he'd be rather defensive about academies in general. It's disgraceful all these children have had to suffer along with their education,it's just wicked. I will fight against these un-thought out academies & will try to make as many people aware of the issues. Our govement just want to wash their hands of the responsibility of schools,but have not thought the implications of this out. In their rush have they forgotten that our children will one day be looking after us? They need a decent education![/p][/quote]Good point, not that Michael Gove gives two figs at the moment. You only have to look to Palmers in Grays for example which I believe is still a charitable trust academy to see how a College should be run proper ! Totally unacceptable that the students should be confronted with this total ineptitude; added to this is the potential Prospect venture which is a total no no for a start - will be trashed within months with a totally unfocused student entry that will be claiming all kinds of subsistence and benefit such as EMA and then bunking off again..... Olivia2847
  • Score: 0

12:46pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

Olivia2847 wrote:
daninorth wrote:
I'm so grateful that someone in authority is speaking up at last! Would love to hear what Micheal Gove has to say on these matters, but I would imagine he'd be rather defensive about academies in general. It's disgraceful all these children have had to suffer along with their education,it's just wicked. I will fight against these un-thought out academies & will try to make as many people aware of the issues.
Our govement just want to wash their hands of the responsibility of schools,but have not thought the implications of this out. In their rush have they forgotten that our children will one day be looking after us? They need a decent education!
Good point, not that Michael Gove gives two figs at the moment. You only have to look to Palmers in Grays for example which I believe is still a charitable trust academy to see how a College should be run proper ! Totally unacceptable that the students should be confronted with this total ineptitude; added to this is the potential Prospect venture which is a total no no for a start - will be trashed within months with a totally unfocused student entry that will be claiming all kinds of subsistence and benefit such as EMA and then bunking off again.....
And now Stephen Castle I note has awoken from his reverie and thought that after ALL THIS TIME he should get involved - incredible .....
[quote][p][bold]Olivia2847[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]daninorth[/bold] wrote: I'm so grateful that someone in authority is speaking up at last! Would love to hear what Micheal Gove has to say on these matters, but I would imagine he'd be rather defensive about academies in general. It's disgraceful all these children have had to suffer along with their education,it's just wicked. I will fight against these un-thought out academies & will try to make as many people aware of the issues. Our govement just want to wash their hands of the responsibility of schools,but have not thought the implications of this out. In their rush have they forgotten that our children will one day be looking after us? They need a decent education![/p][/quote]Good point, not that Michael Gove gives two figs at the moment. You only have to look to Palmers in Grays for example which I believe is still a charitable trust academy to see how a College should be run proper ! Totally unacceptable that the students should be confronted with this total ineptitude; added to this is the potential Prospect venture which is a total no no for a start - will be trashed within months with a totally unfocused student entry that will be claiming all kinds of subsistence and benefit such as EMA and then bunking off again.....[/p][/quote]And now Stephen Castle I note has awoken from his reverie and thought that after ALL THIS TIME he should get involved - incredible ..... Olivia2847
  • Score: 0

12:51pm Fri 30 Nov 12

William S says...

This all seems to prove academies are not the key factor here but ultimatley how the school is run towards achieving high standards of Teaching & learning and with overall efffective management & governance in place to achieve this.
It appears current CoG must resign and somehow stability needs to return.
This all seems to prove academies are not the key factor here but ultimatley how the school is run towards achieving high standards of Teaching & learning and with overall efffective management & governance in place to achieve this. It appears current CoG must resign and somehow stability needs to return. William S
  • Score: 0

1:11pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

William S wrote:
This all seems to prove academies are not the key factor here but ultimatley how the school is run towards achieving high standards of Teaching & learning and with overall efffective management & governance in place to achieve this.
It appears current CoG must resign and somehow stability needs to return.
Would be interesting to hear from a parent or student or have they been gagged as well .....
[quote][p][bold]William S[/bold] wrote: This all seems to prove academies are not the key factor here but ultimatley how the school is run towards achieving high standards of Teaching & learning and with overall efffective management & governance in place to achieve this. It appears current CoG must resign and somehow stability needs to return.[/p][/quote]Would be interesting to hear from a parent or student or have they been gagged as well ..... Olivia2847
  • Score: 0

3:13pm Fri 30 Nov 12

spectator says...

I suspect the government won't be too concerned about the rights and wrongs of academies - after all, they can afford to send their offspring to public schools
so that's the last thing on their minds. Same as increasing tuition fees for Uni. - only the rich can afford them so us plebs can go hang. Then they'll get all the top jobs 'cos they'll have degrees even though they're not as bright as the rest of us, and be telling us all what to do for perpetuity! The class system is still alive and well, particularly in Westminster.
I suspect the government won't be too concerned about the rights and wrongs of academies - after all, they can afford to send their offspring to public schools so that's the last thing on their minds. Same as increasing tuition fees for Uni. - only the rich can afford them so us plebs can go hang. Then they'll get all the top jobs 'cos they'll have degrees even though they're not as bright as the rest of us, and be telling us all what to do for perpetuity! The class system is still alive and well, particularly in Westminster. spectator
  • Score: 0

7:37pm Fri 30 Nov 12

Olivia2847 says...

A bit late for Nanny Pat and Castle to stick their respective oars in! Sould have been aware if this disgraceful impending disaster months ago.....
A bit late for Nanny Pat and Castle to stick their respective oars in! Sould have been aware if this disgraceful impending disaster months ago..... Olivia2847
  • Score: 0

10:14pm Fri 30 Nov 12

William S says...

Either way the Chair must resign (conflict of business interests) and new leadership/governanc
e team formed quickly but with some integrity or the situation will only get worse.
Either way the Chair must resign (conflict of business interests) and new leadership/governanc e team formed quickly but with some integrity or the situation will only get worse. William S
  • Score: 0

2:50am Sun 2 Dec 12

Olivia2847 says...

Oi! Noddy! Stop deleting quotes with that blue crayon that wot u nicked frm Wetherspoons. What's the point of allowing frank and fair discussion if you starting playing about - put them back!
Oi! Noddy! Stop deleting quotes with that blue crayon that wot u nicked frm Wetherspoons. What's the point of allowing frank and fair discussion if you starting playing about - put them back! Olivia2847
  • Score: 0

9:49pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Canterboy says...

graham007 wrote:
The conflict of interest between the two roles Les Livermore holds is surely not something that Ofsted can ignore!

How can they think this is ok?
Surely people cannot gloss over the fact that a chair of governors CANNOT receive school funds to fulfill the role. Governance is not management and would totally over step the bounds of responsibility in taking a management role. From the point of view of the comments in the article about capacity to improve I'm really not sure which report is being read because the report that was published makes it really clear, the trust has no capacity or experience to oversee the running of a school.
As far as the governing body there needs to be an investigation into how often there has been true and fair elections for post. The chair cannot simply sustain the role but must be re-elected by due process.
[quote][p][bold]graham007[/bold] wrote: The conflict of interest between the two roles Les Livermore holds is surely not something that Ofsted can ignore! How can they think this is ok?[/p][/quote]Surely people cannot gloss over the fact that a chair of governors CANNOT receive school funds to fulfill the role. Governance is not management and would totally over step the bounds of responsibility in taking a management role. From the point of view of the comments in the article about capacity to improve I'm really not sure which report is being read because the report that was published makes it really clear, the trust has no capacity or experience to oversee the running of a school. As far as the governing body there needs to be an investigation into how often there has been true and fair elections for post. The chair cannot simply sustain the role but must be re-elected by due process. Canterboy
  • Score: 0

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