A HEADTEACHER at a troubled school is to resign at the end of the summer term along with a quarter of his staff opting to leave.
Graeme Plunkett will step down from his post at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, having joined in September 2010 after the arrest and charging of its former headteacher and five other former members of staff and governors who will all stand trial in September accused of defrauding Brent Council out of £2.7million.
Brent Council’s statement said: “After leading Copland Community School through a very challenging period, headteacher Graeme Plunkett has decided to leave the school at the end of the academic year to pursue other career opportunities.
“Graeme was appointed in 2010 and leaves the school in a stronger position than it was in then.
“Like Ofsted, Brent Council recognises his work rebuilding the school’s sense of community following a period of turbulence and coping with the government’s cancellation of the school’s rebuild under the Building Schools for the Future scheme.”
The school was placed in special measures following an Ofsted inspection in March that gave the school the lowest possible ‘inadequate’ rating.
Brent Council has replaced the governing body with a three person interim executive board and teaching union members oppose efforts by the council and the Department for Education to force the school – the last local authority-controlled secondary in the borough – to become an academy.
Staff have held two strikes against the enforced change in status, the latter on Wednesday, July 3, and Ofsted recently condemned action plans drawn up by the school and the council as ‘not fit for purpose’.
One quarter of staff at the school are taking voluntary redundancy at the end of the term but the school is only allowed to hire a maximum of seven Newly Qualified Teachers as replacements.
Mr Plunkett said in the council statement: “I would like to thank the parents, staff and governors for all their support and trust during the past three years. Above all, though, I would like to pay tribute to the students: Copland students are fantastic, praised by all who meet them, and I wish them all well for the future.”
An interim headteacher has been appointed.