Corbridge school head 'raised concerns' before being suspended

Julie Logan, of Corbridge C of E First School in Northumberland, made governors aware of areas that needed improvement before she was asked to leave last year

Corbridge C of E First School
Corbridge C of E First School

Concerns about a primary school at the centre of an Ofsted probe were raised by its suspended headteacher a year ago, her union has said.

Julie Logan, of Corbridge C of E First School in Northumberland, made governors aware of areas that needed improvement before she was asked to leave last year.

The previously outstanding school dropped two places in Oftsted inspectors’ rankings this month and a third acting temporary headteacher is due to start at the school next month.

David Marshall, who is representing Mrs Logan on behalf of the National Association of Head Teachers, following her suspension 11 months ago, said: “All the concerns raised by Ofsted had previously been identified by Mrs Logan before she was suspended.

“And we believe that the school deserves to have a full time permanent head who understands that school, as Mrs Logan does.” Under Ofsted’s new framework the school is now just one category above “failing” and by law it must be subjected to another full inspection in two years with regular monitoring visits in between.

In the last report by the watchdog, teaching is described as inconsistent with pupils displaying poor writing stamina.

Learning in maths was also labelled “mundane” and children were found to chat through lessons.

Following the report, new chair of governors Roger Lowans wrote to parents to pass on his thanks to former acting headteacher Julie Shields, for her analysis of what is needed to bring about the improvements required by Ofsted.

However, Mr Marshall, said: “We have noted that the recent Ofsted report identified difficulties which were identical to the difficulties Mrs Logan identified before she was suspended.”

Speculation around her departure in November 2012 continues with a row over the discontinuation of school meals with the then chair of governors Ron Tipping believed to be one potential source of disagreement.

She was first replaced by Lynne Johnston, headteacher of Wylam First School, and then by Julie Shields, who has been on secondment from nearby Ovingham C of E First School near Prudhoe, for the past seven weeks.

Gillian Tawse was appointed full-time Acting Headteacher from Northburn Primary School in Cramlington on Friday.

In no letters sent to parents is any reference made to Mrs Logan’s position with the school. Martin Sheppard, from the Diocese of Newcastle said the investigation into her suspension is ongoing.

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