06:34AM, Tuesday 16 April 2013
A veteran headteacher has spoken out to defend the reputation of a beleaguered colleague whose Datchet school was denounced as inadequate by government inspectors.
Gaynor Goodman stood down as head at Churchmead School after the devastating report.
But at a meeting of the Royal Borough children's services scrutiny panel on Monday Doctor Roz Sendorek - who represents primary schools on the panel - made her uneasiness clear.
Doctor Sendorek has run Oakfield First School in Imperial Road, Windsor for 20 years and is greatly respected.
She said: "I don't like this suggestion that Mrs Goodman was a 'bad head' because of the report. For eight years she was seen as very successful."
Doctor Sendorek believes that her fellow head fell victim to a change in policy, as inspectors abandoned consideration of schools' social framework in favour of a more simplistic reliance on exam results.
Nearly half of Churchmead's pupils speak English as a second language. Special needs pupils are well above average and there is a large proportion of pupils from the travelling community.Doctor Sendorek said:"Mrs Goodman was respected by the traveller community. Churchmead has been exceptional in the way pupils from the travelling community have stayed on until official leaving age.
"Her work was celebrated two years ago at a Royal Borough conference for head teachers.
"My concern is that such achievements can be dismissed so summarily."
But the Royal Borough's interim head of education Michael Rosen said that Churchmead had failed to move with the times.
He said: "It was rated satisfactory under the old framework but it had not geared up to the new one. It has not gone in the right direction or focussed on the right things."
He said the school was now making good progress and that a new head would be in place by September.
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