+Scott Watson

Monday, 9 June 2014

Greetland Academy Governance Media Release

For Immediate Release – Media Interviews Available 

A former Academy school governor has launched a scathing attack on what he terms Greetland Academy's governing bodies dereliction of duty to the school, parents, staff and students.

Scott Watson's claims relate to what he alleges are breaches of professional standards, flawed decision making and blatant ignorance of good practice when it comes to leadership, management, recruitment and transparency.

Watson, the Managing Director of a human resources consultancy, resigned as a governor due to what he states were a sickening lack of professionalism and arrogance demonstrated by senior members of the governing body.

“If this is considered to be effective governance, acceptable practice and value for money leadership, surely something is very badly wrong,” he states.

“The Principal and relevant governors refuse to discuss the matter, evade reasonable questions and Ofsted are unable to investigate it because it is outside their remit. The opportunity for a cover up to conveniently brush these matters under the carpet is immense,” he explains.

Serious Allegations

Watson’s allegations against the school and its processes include:

  • A gross dereliction of duty as a Governing body
  • A betrayal of trust placed in them by the community 
  • A failure of leadership to meet even basic professional standards
  • A decision making process based on pure guesswork rather than technical competence

“I believe the absence of transparency is deliberate and that the leader and senior members of the governing body are absolutely determined to hide away from being held accountable.  The fact that the Principal is paid handsomely to be accountable doesn't even get a look in,” he states.

“Moreover, an absence of understanding of legislation and an ignorance of basic professional standards does not constitute effective leadership. It's like students marking their on homework and MP's approving their own expenses. It lacks transparency and unwillingness for independent scrutiny,” explains Watson.

Breaches of Legislation

“As an HR professional, I have identified several likely breaches of legislation re The Education Act, employment legislation regarding bullying and harassment as well as a possible instance of disability discrimination. As such, I will be calling for several resignations,” he comments.

“Due to the behaviour and decisions of specific members of the Governing body, the governing body collectively acts more like a secret society than a Governing body which should be serving the Greetland community. There has been a blatant attempt to bury the truth, distort the facts and simply spin their way out of a deep hole they dug themselves,” states Watson.
Ofsted Powerless

Ofsted has advised Watson that it cannot become involved in reviewing the complaint as it falls outside its legal remit.

“Ultimately, the Governing Body can do whatever it likes, without being held accountable. It’s a license to behave badly and even operate outside the law if it wishes to do so,” he concludes.

- Ends -

Editors Notes:

Scott Watson is available for broadcast and other news media interview by contacting Chris Shaw at Sure Media Relations.

  • Watson met with his MP Craig Whittaker, sought expert guidance from a governance lawyer and from the Department of Education funded, Governorline to ensure complete understanding the issues. Governorline operates independently and provides expert guidance and advice to Governors.

  • Due to the fact that making an official complaint about a Governing Body falls outside Ofsted’s legal responsibilities, the only way to have this matter investigated is by submitting a complaint to an Academy's Governing Body. In essence, the Governing Body would investigate all the matters itself.  Clearly issues relating to the governing bodies competence and willingness to objectively investigate these matters is a cause for serious concern.

  • Watson was appointed as a Governor by parents in November 2011, with a remit to improve the quality of teaching, ensure accountability within the Governing Body and achieve transparency in the decision making process.

  • During a meeting with the Principal and Chair of Curriculum and Staffing Committee, Watson was encouraged to make a formal complaint against a teacher. Prior to this, the Principal described the teacher’s appointment as 'regrettable'. 

Press Information:

Chris Shaw
Sure Media Relations
Telephone 01484 606 939
Mobile 07527 448 650

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