Somerset

Somerset school board of governors sacked

The entire board of governors at a failing primary school in Somerset has been sacked, the BBC has learned.

The governors at Archbishop Cranmer C of E Primary School in Taunton have been replaced with temporary managers appointed by the county council.

The sacking follows a critical inspection raising issues from the school leadership to pupils' behaviour.

The council has said it had a duty to act in the best interests of the children at the school.

'Not much choice'

Former governors at the school claim they have been forced for refusing to become an academy and believe the decision was made at Whitehall level.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has said he wants every primary school in special measures to become an academy.

Former governor Simon Coles said: "We had this 'choice' which was either we ask Michael Gove to make us into an academy and tell everybody it was our idea, or we would be sacked, and they would do it anyway, so it was not much of a choice."

A spokesman for the county council said: "Ofsted said in its inspection report that the governing body did not have the skills necessary to drive improvement at Archbishop Cranmer.

"There is good evidence this year in Somerset that our approach has led to more rapid improvements in other schools that were causing concern."

The council said there was an expectation from the Department for Education that schools which go into special measures would convert to academy status.

"There was a very good presentation to the governors recently from the Diocese of Bath and Wells as the proposed sponsor," the spokesman added.

"The council believes that this would have been in the best interests of the pupils, but it was refused by the governors."

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