Uplands Junior: Head suspended and governors curbed

Uplands Junior School Uplands School would be "stabilised" by the suspension of the current head, officials said

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The head teacher at a troubled Leicester school has been suspended by council education officers.

Governors at Uplands Junior School have also lost some powers after they were given a warning notice to resolve a dispute with unions.

The council said the relationship with governors had not improved and "decisive action" was needed.

A temporary head has been appointed and lessons would be unaffected, officials added.

Uplands Junior School timeline

  • December 2012 - tensions begin to rise over restructuring proposals
  • 14 April 2013 - collective grievance filed by the staff citing "a history of conflict" and calling for the removal of the head
  • 18 April - Tim Luckcock criticised for wearing a turban in a Facebook post
  • 21 May - first of three strikes closes the school
  • 28 May - arbitration service Acas brought in to carry out talks
  • June - independent report commissioned by the school and the council
  • July - council places a warning notice on the school that it will apply to the government to remove the governors
  • August - governors appeal against the notice and the decision goes to Ofsted
  • 29 August - Ofsted upholds the warning notice

In the past year staff at Uplands Junior School have staged three one-day walkouts over restructuring plans which would see the loss of eight teaching assistants.

In March, staff backed a vote of no confidence in head teacher Tim Luckcock and the chair of governors Abid Matak over the loss of the posts and the way the school was being run.

During the summer, the city council warned governors it would ask education ministers for permission to remove them if the situation did not improve.

Assistant City Mayor for Education and Children's Services, Vi Dempster, said the latest move would "stabilise the school".

"We needed reassurance that the relationship between the governors and the local authority would improve.

"Unfortunately when we looked at what was being proposed, we felt the relationship had not improved, so we took decisive action.

"This has gone on for months and there is no doubt it is affecting standards within the school," she said.

Mr Luckock has been suspended for a limited, but undisclosed, period.

The council said the governors would remain in place but financial and staffing decisions would be taken by the authority.

A request for permission to appoint an interim executive board would also be going to the government, officials added.

The governors Mr Luckcock have so far declined to comment on the developments.

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