National Union of Teachers expresses “relief” change is coming to troubled Hackney primary school

Parents at a trouble-hit primary school say their children’s education has been plunged into uncertainty after the headteacher, his deputy and an assistant headteacher all quit.

Vijay Bhanaut, of De Beauvoir primary school in Tottenham Road, uenxepectedly announced his resignation just before May half term.

Then a fortnight ago deputy Tanya Spain, and assistant headteacher Malcolm Shaw, both quit too.

The three will, however, remain in their posts until the end of school term.

Their departures come amid concerns raised by parents and teaching unions over school management.


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Last week 80 parents signed a petition claiming a teaching assistant who had worked there for 12 years was unfairly dismissed.

They are demanding she be reinstated otherwise they will remove their children.

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The Hackney branch of the National Union of Teachers claims it had drawn several issues to the attention of the Learning Trust, which runs the borough’s schools.

NUT spokesman Mark Lushington said: “We have had concerns about how the school has been managed for a very considerable period of time which we have brought to the attention not only of the school but also of the Learning Trust.

“One of our members, who was going through an appeal about sickness monitoring, was informed in a staff meeting she had been sacked.

“This is one instance of a series of what we consider to be breaches of procedure amounting to harassment.

“As a result we are relieved change is coming, but we would have wished for more support on the issues we raised,” he added.

Amongst other concerns was that Tanya Spain had not been registered with the General Teaching Council – which was disbanded in April – despite it having been a legal requirement.

A spokesman for the Learning Trust originally said they were not aware of any of the concerns flagged up by the NUT.

But in a statement released last week he said staff at the Learning Trust had met with NUT representatives to discuss the issues raised.

“The Learning Trust can confirm that none of the senior management team was asked to leave De Beauvoir Primary School,” said the LT spokesman.

“De Beauvoir Primary School has, over the last three years, moved from being below the national standards to consistently being above these national benchmarks.”

In September Sarah Bailey, headteacher of Queensbridge School will step in as executive head.

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