Page 1, 6th January 1989

6th January 1989
Page 1
Page 1, 6th January 1989 — Head in row with Islington parents

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Locations: London


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Head in row with Islington parents

THE Head of St John the Evangelist Catholic Primary School, north London, may be facing the sack if her "management style" does not

improve by June this year.

The school's governing body began disciplinary proceedings against the Head, Irene Rowland, after an annual parents' meeting took the unprecedented step of passing a vote of no confidence in her. Disciplinary action was

suspended in October last year when the Chairman of the Governors and Mrs Rowland signed an agreement pledging mutual collaboration in the running of the school. A review in June this year will decide whether Mrs Rowland is to remain as Head.

Mrs Rowland's allegedly "antagonistic" management style has resulted in some parents withdrawing children from the school, and 14 out of 17 staff have left since she became Head, her critics say. An inspectors' report by the Inner London Education Authority called for a solution to the row lest standards in the school should suffer.

Mrs Rowland claims that she has letters from all but two of the staff who have left since she took up tenure stating that she had nothing to do with their departure. She also pointed out that many of the staff were temporary when she arrived, and that the bulk of those that left did so for career or family reasons.

"I am not antagonistic towards parents and I have an excellent relationship with my staff. The action against me has been taken by a small group of parents together with a minority of governors," said Mrs Rowland.

Mr George Healey, Chairman of the Governors, said: "As Chairman, it was my duty to begin disciplinary proceedings for shortcomings in the running of the school. Since then an agreement has been signed which seems to be tackling the problem succes fully."

Mr Healey also said he had written a letter on behalf of the governors to the Head and staff of the school assuring them of the board's "unequivocal support."

ILEA has placed the school on a special list of those causing "serious concern," however. A spokesman confirmed that there is a "personality clash between the Head and the governors," but said that "there is not much we can do. We have been watching developments for some months, but really it is up to the diocesan authorities, not us, to solve the problem."

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