Corbridge CE First School to get new temporary headteacher

Suspended headteacher of Corbridge CE First School to be replaced temporarily by Julie Shiels, headteacher at Ovingham CE First School

Corbridge Church of England First School
Corbridge Church of England First School

A second replacement is to be drafted in to lead a troubled rural first school.

Julie Logan, who has been suspended from Corbridge CE First School in Northumberland for nine months, has been told she is not to start back in her position when the new term starts on September 3.

Instead Julie Shields, headteacher at Ovingham Church of England First School, a few miles away down the Tyne Valley, will take over as the school’s acting head until further notice.

This is the second temporary headteacher to be drafted in to join staff at Corbridge for two days a week after Lynne Johnston, headteacher of Wylam First School, left in July.

Jeremy Fitt, director of education for the Diocese of Newcastle, said: “Mrs Shields is an experienced and very successful head at another outstanding Church of England First School.

“As acting head at Corbridge, supported by the strong staff team, she will ensure that the school continues to maintain its high standards of teaching and care for all its pupils.”

Mrs Shields will be supported by two class who are teachers also sharing some responsibilty for senior management.

Mrs Logan had only been in post for a year when she was suspended on November 29 by acting chair of governers Kath Abraham with a dispute over school meals believed to be the reason for her departure.

She is currently in final talks with her union and the school’s governers and representatives from the Church of England Diocess of Newcastle.

On the advice of her union, Mrs Logan is unable to comment on her suspension but said she hoped that the situation would be resolved by the end of September.

This will be the fourth term where no substantive head teacher has been in post at the school, which was graded outstanding by Ofsted in 2009. The school is due to be inspected by the watchdog within the next 12 months.

Around 90 parents signed a petition demanding a public meeting over Mrs Logan’s departure and stating their lack of confidence in the governing body.

Previous chair of governors Ron Tipping had written to parents to say that school meals would cease and it is believed Mrs Logan was against the idea. Four kitchen staff had stood to lose their jobs under the proposal.

Northumberland County Council later stepped in and the service has continued.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer