William Parker’s headteacher steps down

William Parker Sports College
William Parker Sports College

THE headteacher of William Parker Sports College, John Court, has stepped down.

The move comes after the school was placed in special measures following an Ofsted inspection, published in January, which deemed it was failing in all key areas including leadership.

And earlier this month, William Parker’s governing body applied for the school to become an academy sponsored by ARK Schools, an education charity which operates 18 academies in London, Birmingham and Portsmouth.

Daniel Hatley, deputy headteacher at Glyn School in Epsom, took over as interim headteacher on Monday (March 18). He is being supported by Jon Chaloner, executive headteacher of Glyn School.

Glyn School was appointed last month by the National College of School Leadership and East Sussex County Council to work with the staff and students on making improvements following the poor Ofsted report.

It is expected that a permanent headteacher will be installed by September when the college may become an academy.

A statement from Gareth Bendon, chair of governors, on William Parker’s website reads: “Following detailed discussions with East Sussex County Council, the diocese and governors regarding both the current and future circumstances William Parker Sports College faces, the headteacher, John Court, has come to the conclusion that it would be appropriate for him to step down from his position at this juncture, having given his full support to the college becoming a academy. In making this decision John Court extends his best wishes to pupils, parents, staff and governors and hopes that this will allow the college to address its future with the academy sponsors more easily. The governors express their gratitude to John Court on behalf of the whole college community for the work he has done for the college and wish him every success as he pursues his professional career in a new context.”

He added: “Mr Hatley has the wholehearted support of the governing body and the local education authority, and we have every confidence that he will successfully steer William Parker through the recovery plan.”

Mr Hatley met with students in special assemblies this week, as well as staff.

In a letter to parents, also published on the college website, he said he was ‘excited’ at the prospecting of leading the college until the end of the academic year.

He added: “It is my intention that over the coming months we will work collaboratively to ensure that all students at William Parker are consistently engaged in high quality learning, led by the college’s skilled and experienced teaching staff in a framework of clear and consistent high expectations. We will be paying close attention to students’ individual targets and looking at support strategies to help them achieve their full potential. Through this and a laser sharp focus on standards and attendance, the college will make rapid progress towards students’ personal and academic goals.”

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