Head of troubled St Mary’s agrees to redundancy

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The head of a troubled special school in Bexhill has left the role, it has been announced.

The CEO of the Talking Trust St Mary’s School and Sixth Form College in Wrestwood Road, Dr Sharon Menghini, has agreed to voluntary redundancy after it was decided the school could not financially support the role of both a principal and CEO.

News of her departure was announced to staff, pupils, parents and carers this week by chair of trustees Don Young.

Mr Young said: “This is a challenging time for everyone at St Mary’s, and the governors and trustees are determined to continue the clear progress made.

“I would like to place on record the significant contribution that Sharon has made in managing essential modernisation and change throughout the organisation and we are deeply indebted to her for the process of transformation which has placed us in a position to move forward in our improvements.”

St Mary’s was placed in special measures in January, following a damning Ofsted report.

The inspection led by Bernard Payne found inadequacy in all six categories - leadership and management, behaviour and safety of pupils, safety of teaching, achievement of pupils, sixth form provision and overall effectiveness of the residential experience.

Mr Young said: “Clearly, after the Ofsted judgement last December, there was the need for a full review of governance and leadership.

“This process is moving to completion and the recent Ofsted update from inspector Lesley Farmer (HMI) was encouraging and gave us all great heart for what will be a very positive future here.

“However from this review it became clear that the organisation’s priority at this time is for a full time principal and for financial reasons it was no longer possible to support both that post and the role of CEO.”

Amanda Clugston, the current advisory head teacher will continue to work as consultant principal.

Mr Young said: “Amanda has made regular visits to St Mary’s since September and over this time has developed a very good understanding of our school and built strong relationships with members of the staff team.

“Amanda brings her knowledge and skills gained from successful headships to support many schools to make the rapid improvements necessary.

Ms Clugston is putting together a consultant management board to support and work with staff to “move the school forward”.

The board will take collective responsibility for St Mary’s until a full time principal can be appointed in September 2015.

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