Parents say Wrexham high school has questions to answer about staff suspensions

Reporter:

Rory Sheehan

PARENTS are pushing the education authority to answer their questions about the suspension of two teachers at a Wrexham high school.

On Tuesday the Leader reported concerns that parents were being “kept in the dark” over the suspension of two members of staff from Ysgol Morgan Llwyd.

Wrexham Council will not confirm the staff have been suspended and the school’s Chair of Governors, former North Wales Assembly Member Aled Roberts has also refused the Leader’s requests for comment on the situation this week, with Mr Roberts stating “it would be inappropriate to comment on employment matters concerning school staff”.

Education consultant and former Ofsted inspector John Morris who initially contacted the Leader about the issue, says he has been approached in confidence by parents of pupils at the school, who have questions they want answered by the authority.

He said: “A number of parents with children at Ysgol Morgan Llwyd continue to express, in confidence, their concerns at the ‘wall of silence’ adopted by the chairman of the school’s governing body and a representative of Wrexham Council.

“This attitude only serves to intensify rumour and speculation regarding ‘employment matters’ at the school.

“Without prejudice to ‘employment related matters’ at the school, parents consider that as partners in the education process they are concerned that the school and local authority have failed ‘in their duty of care to inform parents and carers of key aspects of management at the school’.”

Mr Morris added that this ‘could have possible implications for the ‘safeguarding’ of their children and impact upon the educational performance levels achieved’.

He said: ”Parents are naturally concerned at the current situation where rumours abound, yet no information is forthcoming from the school management team or officers of the local authority.

””n particular, they require information with reference to the following four key questions.”

The questions being asked by parents are:

l Have there been issues around ‘staff employment issues’ which could have prejudiced the safeguarding of children at the school?

l What are the plans of the local authority to offer additional appropriate support to the current ‘temporary’ senior management team at the school during this difficult period?

l In view of Estyn’s critical analysis of previous strategies by the local authority and regional advisory teams to effectively address issues identified by Estyn inspection teams, parents need to know what additional strategies will be in place at the beginning of the new term in September to address, more effectively, the key issues for improvement identified in the Estyn report in May 2017.

l When will the LEA address the appointment of a permanent headteacher to take the school forward in addressing identified issues regarding attainment levels?

Mr Morris said: “It is essential that following on from the Estyn report which resulted in “increased monitoring of the school’s performance”, the local authority must provide parents of pupils at the school with correct information rather than a wall of silence which only serves to exaggerate rumour regarding matters concerning school staff

He added that “parents of children at the school urgently need assurances from the local authority” on the following issues that;

l No issues involving the ‘safeguarding’ of pupils have occurred.

l An interim support plan for the management team and staff will be in place as a matter of urgency by the start of the new school year in September.

Email:

rory.sheehan@nwn.co.uk

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