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Stoke Newington school staff exodus sparks parents’ concern

Stock image of Betty Layward Primary School, Stoke Newinton. Stock image of Betty Layward Primary School, Stoke Newinton.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
1:02 PM

A massive exodus of teaching staff from a Stoke Newington primary school has prompted parents to fear for their children’s education.

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Headteacher Maureen Jarrett has handed in her resignation to leave Betty Layward School at the end of the term, along with assistant head Sarah Hinton.

On top of this nine out of the 14 teaching staff are also leaving the two-form entry school in Clissold Road, Stoke Newington, equating to a loss of two-thirds of the teaching workforce.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has criticised the Learning Trust over the support given to the school over the past two years after Ofsted inspectors deemed the school as “requiring improvement” in 2012.

Many parents are worried, including one who spoke to the Gazette on the condition she remained anonymous.

“If the staff disappear of course it will have an effect on the children, we are worried for their education,” she said. “There’s something wrong if there are 10 teachers leaving, and I’ve got no confidence whatsoever.

“Who are they going to replace them with ready for September, what’s their plan of action?

“We need confidence and assurance, but I feel we are being kept in the dark. I don’t expect to be told the nitty-gritty of everything but communication is key and we should be informed of what’s going on.”

A NUT spokesman said: “The NUT is always concerned when a school has a high level of staff turnover.

“The Hackney Learning Trust has responsibility for Betty Layward and our members are very concerned about how it has managed this school and particularly about the appropriateness and quality of the support it has given.”

A Hackney Council spokeswoman said it was a high priority for the school to improve.

“With the support of another outstanding Hackney school, Springfield Primary, it has worked hard to make improvements,” she said.

A letter to parents from the chairman of governors, Frances Peel Yates, said: “It has been a tough couple of years, but we feel that as a result of Maureen and team’s work we can feel proud of what has been achieved and the school is now in a much stronger position to move forward. It is business as usual, and we need to keep focused in anticipation of Ofsted’s visit.”

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