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Governors sacked from ailing school

07 September 2012

SOMERSET County Council has dismissed the governing body of Archbishop Cranmer Church of England School in Taunton, Somerset, after poor OFSTED reports. The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, agreed to the move after inspectors reported that the governors lacked the skills to drive through improvements at the 330-pupil voluntary controlled (VC) primary school.

A new head teacher, Helen Cunningham, was appointed after the inspectors' report, and an interim executive board has replaced the governing body. Because Archbishop Cranmer is a VC school, church appointees would have been in a minority on the governing body, and ultimate responsibility for standards remains with the local authority.

The school's mission statement, however, emphasises its Christian foundation; and, this week, the director of education for the diocese of Bath & Wells, Theresa Gale, promised diocesan help to improve the school. "In such circumstances, any diocese would be expected to step in to support the school and work in partnership with the local authority to achieve rapid progress," she said.

Archbishop Cranmer could now face pressure to become an academy, the route to improvement preferred by Mr Gove. This step had been resisted by the former governing body, it is understood.












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