Academies governor says row over curriculum caused headteacher to quit

Basildon Recorder: Dr Rory Fox Dr Rory Fox

A SCHOOL governor says the troubleshooting headteacher of the Basildon Academies quit because of a row over a new maths and English curriculum.


Keith Bobbin, who has been a governor at the school for more than 20 years, said he believed Dr Rory Fox was not keen to take forward the governors plans for the school.


The academies, which opened in 2009 with a £50million revamp, was plunged into special measures in March this year and has particularly struggled with maths and English results.


As an academy the school is responsible for setting its own curriculum and Dr Fox has brought in a host of top teachers to help turn round the fortunes of the school.
 

One of these was the appointment of Cambridge University graduate Ginny Parry who was appointed as the new director of sixth form in September.
Mr Bobbin, who is also Labour ward councillor for Pitsea North West, said: “It is very sad to see that Dr Fox will be leaving the school, especially seeing now that the school is finally on the up.


“It has come through a very hard time and its now up to the vice principals to make sure the transition is smooth. The children need continuity and it cannot be good for them to see two headteachers go in as many years.
“I believe Dr Fox has left because he didn’t want to take forward the governors plans for the new maths and English curriculum that they wanted.”


Mr Bobbin said since the school became a sponsored academy in 2009 he had had a less hands-on approach as a school governor.
 

Les Livermore, the chairman of the governors, works full time on the Upper Academy site and has his own office and he is regularly seen walking around seeing what is going on at the school.
Mr Bobbin added: “I hear from Les occasionally and he will tell me what is going on at the school. I would like to be more involved but Les is very good and nothing passes him by.
 

“It is not good to now see that two headteachers have gone in just two years but there is now a great opportunity for a dynamic headteacher to come forward and take over where Dr Fox has left off.
“It is hard to attract good teachers to Basildon and keep them. I hope the next headteacher who comes to the school will stay so the children can get used to one person.”
Dr Fox, who started in September 2011, will be leaving the school at Easter and has not secured his next appointment.
 

Comments (7)

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12:25pm Fri 19 Oct 12

HadleighBoy says...

A bit concenring that the comment was "Did not want to take forward teh Governors plans for Maths and English" surely this should be that the governors did not agree with hthe headteachers plans. Why are govenors determining how the curriculum is taught?
A bit concenring that the comment was "Did not want to take forward teh Governors plans for Maths and English" surely this should be that the governors did not agree with hthe headteachers plans. Why are govenors determining how the curriculum is taught? HadleighBoy

1:15pm Fri 19 Oct 12

Olivia2847 says...

The curriculum is moderated by the examining board surely and not the governors?
The curriculum is moderated by the examining board surely and not the governors? Olivia2847

6:15pm Fri 19 Oct 12

janee says...

Sounds as though there is a major problem with the management of the academies. What a pity that the Local Authority cannot intervene to sort it out. I wonder what educational qualifications the Chair of Governors has and if he is being paid.
Sounds as though there is a major problem with the management of the academies. What a pity that the Local Authority cannot intervene to sort it out. I wonder what educational qualifications the Chair of Governors has and if he is being paid. janee

11:34pm Fri 19 Oct 12

spectator says...

The curriculum for sponsored academies is determined by the sponsor and his cronies - they have the majority on the governing body. Basildon Academies sponsor is American multi-millionaire hedge fund manager Martin Feingold, ex Goldman Sachs - that says it all - and the Chair of Governors, Les Livermore is paid by the sponsor! Shame Rory Fox is going - he is the education expert and has turned the school around - it's 100% better, still some way to go but it's definitely on the up and a better place to be after the wilderness years. He must be so frustrated trying to work with those know all know nothing guys.
The curriculum for sponsored academies is determined by the sponsor and his cronies - they have the majority on the governing body. Basildon Academies sponsor is American multi-millionaire hedge fund manager Martin Feingold, ex Goldman Sachs - that says it all - and the Chair of Governors, Les Livermore is paid by the sponsor! Shame Rory Fox is going - he is the education expert and has turned the school around - it's 100% better, still some way to go but it's definitely on the up and a better place to be after the wilderness years. He must be so frustrated trying to work with those know all know nothing guys. spectator

9:35pm Sat 20 Oct 12

G8tilly says...

Let's hope the DfE steps in and stops this nonsense. Let the educational expert get on with setting the curriculum. Dr Fox is committed to improving the prospects for the children in the Basildon area and has made a brilliant start - he must be the one to carry it forward. Tthe sponsor and his paid chair of governors should not have the deciding vote on curriculum matters and should not be allowed to remove this inspirational, dedicated Headteacher.
Let's hope the DfE steps in and stops this nonsense. Let the educational expert get on with setting the curriculum. Dr Fox is committed to improving the prospects for the children in the Basildon area and has made a brilliant start - he must be the one to carry it forward. Tthe sponsor and his paid chair of governors should not have the deciding vote on curriculum matters and should not be allowed to remove this inspirational, dedicated Headteacher. G8tilly

7:29pm Sun 21 Oct 12

Karen48891 says...

Good going Keith, well done for saying enough. Knock their heads together! Les shouldn't run the school. Rory fox should.
Good going Keith, well done for saying enough. Knock their heads together! Les shouldn't run the school. Rory fox should. Karen48891

2:24pm Mon 22 Oct 12

spectator says...

Apparently the kids have organised a petition to keep Dr. Fox - they know how much better it has been. They should organise a petition to get rid of the the Sponsor and Les Livermore. The term "sponsor" is a misnomer - Feingold has never contributed a penny, have a look on his website/accounts.
Apparently the kids have organised a petition to keep Dr. Fox - they know how much better it has been. They should organise a petition to get rid of the the Sponsor and Les Livermore. The term "sponsor" is a misnomer - Feingold has never contributed a penny, have a look on his website/accounts. spectator

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