Bollin Primary School has been closed “with immediate effect” after a shock intervention by Trafford Council.
The Bowdon school – rated ‘Outstanding’ in its latest Ofstead inspection and home to 239 children – has been closed down amid an ongoing dispute involving the headteacher, governors, staff and parents.
Last week, we reported how over 60 parents had staged a protest over what they said was a “climate of fear, intimidation and uncertainty” at the school.
A statement released by Trafford Council today read: “Trafford Council and the Governors of The Bollin Primary School have agreed to close the school with immediate effect.
“This decision has not been taken lightly but is necessary to ensure the safe operation of the school in the light of concerns about the reduced capacity of the senior leadership at the school.
“The Council is also aware of a film that is circulating in relation to the school and is investigating this further.
“Whilst we appreciate this matter will be a disruption to the pupils and family life, it is of the utmost importance to safeguard and protect pupils at the school and the Council is actively taking steps to get the school reopened as soon as possible.”
The “film” referred to in the council statement appears to relate to a video that alleges to show teachers drinking alcohol and chanting on school premises.
Last week’s protest had coincided with strike action by several of the school’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) members, triggered by a row over workload that has led to the teachers working to rule since November.
The parents had pointed to “catastrophic” effects on the school – which has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted since 2007 – since headteacher Michelle Brindle took charge of the school last September.
The school had already been issued with a formal warning notice by Trafford Council, and the protesting parents had also pointed to 16 staff submitting grievances against the headteacher; the unexplained resignation of four parent and co-opted governors; and all parents receiving a letter from the headteacher warning them of legal action in relation to defamatory comments allegedly made about the headteacher on WhatsApp.
However Sabriah Aljaizani, another school parent, claimed the protesting parents were simply a “very vocal minority”.
“There has been a lot of gossip, rumour, speculation and half-truths put out about the situation at school,” she said.
“We all love our school so let’s unite and leave the head teacher, senior management team, teachers and teaching assistants to sort out their professional issues without interference from parents.”