Schools

Bollin parents welcome interim head appointment – but fear a number of “good” teachers have been suspended

By David Prior at

Parents at troubled Bowdon school Bollin Primary have been informed that a new interim head teacher will be in place when the school begins a phased reopening tomorrow.

Trafford Council announced last night that “subject to final confirmation that the necessary measures are in place”, pupils will begin to return to the school from Thursday, March 2nd.

It follows the school’s dramatic closure on Monday, the culmination of months of growing antagonism between parents and the school’s head teacher, Mrs Brindle.

And this morning, parents have been told that a new interim head will be at the school tomorrow – Mrs Kylie Spark, currently head at Tyntesfield Primary School in Sale. There are no further details yet about how long she could be at the school or what it means for the future of Mrs Brindle.

Julie Saunders, a parent of two children at Bollin, said the news was “very well appreciated” and that Mrs Spark was already known and well-regarded by some other parents at the school.

Tyntesfield Primary School head, Mrs Spark, will be interim head when Bollin Primary reopens tomorrow

Tyntesfield Primary School head, Mrs Spark, will be interim head when Bollin Primary reopens tomorrow

However, Saunders also claimed that there were reports that a number of teachers at Bollin would not be returning tomorrow as they had been suspended – and that the school would be reopening tomorrow with a number of supply teachers.

“We have been told that several staff have been suspended,” she said. “Children at the school are now used to change but this could be quite a dramatic change. There’s one child with special needs, for instance, and we’re worried that a supply teacher will not understand their epilepsy needs.”

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She added: “Trafford are not standing up and being clear. They haven’t stepped in at appropriate times, and nothing has been managed by them.

“They now think it’s appropriate to bring in a raft of new teachers just so they can say the school is reopening. It’s just firefighting.”

Saunders said there was a strong feeling among the parents that the children are being “let down”.

Parents protesting at the school last week

Parents protesting at the school last week

“We do not want or need the whole of the school to be wiped out,” she added. “It’s no good for the children to have a raft of new teachers who don’t understand them.”

A number of the school’s teachers were allegedly involved in a video that appeared to show them celebrating the sacking of Mrs Brindle. The video has since received considerable national media attention.

But Saunders called it a “distraction” and that the staff were “incredible teachers”.

“The video was a flash in the pan – this issue has been going on for months. The staff have gone way over and above for the children at a time when 16 of them have issued grievances against the head. These are really good members of staff.”

She said that many parents were looking at other schooling options for their children but that those who could not afford to go private felt “trapped” at the school.

We have contacted both Bollin Primary and Trafford Council for a comment. Trafford said that all staffing issues at the school were a matter for the governing body.