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School Headteacher Steps Down For 'Personal Reasons'

Tuesday May 14 2013

Shafton ALC Shafton ALC

THE headteacher of a failing secondary school is stepping down from her post for 'personal reasons'.

Barnsley Council has confirmed Bernadette O'Brien is leaving her position at Shafton ALC.

The school has been in 'special measures' since December 2012 - Ofsted's lowest level for a failing school.

But a council spokesman refused to say when she was leaving or if she had already left. They also refused to say if Ms O'Brien would be moving to another school.

In a statement on behalf of Shafton ALC, the spokesman said: "Bernadette has taught in Barnsley for 12 years and the council wish to thank her for her work during this time and wish her success in the future."

Ms O'Brien went on sick leave in February and deputy headteacher, Lisa Allott, was put in charge as acting head.

A letter has been sent out to parents by Mrs Allott informing them of Ms O'Brien's decision.

In March, controversial headteacher Charlotte Blencowe was brought in by the Academies Enterprise Trust - the firm which will sponsor the school when it becomes an academy in the summer term.

She was introduced to offer advice and support to senior staff and management at the school. However, a council spokesman said Miss Blencowe was no longer at Shafton ALC.

Ms O'Brien took up the post in January 2011 when the school opened as a merger between Willowgarth High School and Priory School.

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Reply Posted by mckenzie on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 11:37
why dont they do something about the school failing then educate the children not let them get away with everything.

Reply Posted by helen on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 11:39
knew it wouldn't be long,i transferred my daughter to holy trinity and so glad I did now,nothing ever got sorted out at shafton alc and my daughter was affected by it all

Reply Posted by Sarah on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 12:00
All she was bothered about was appearance not education

Reply Posted by Me on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 12:02
She was the worst teacher in the history of teaching she wa more concerned by there looks than the national curriculum n wasn't interested in the children learning

Reply Posted by roy walker on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 12:11
was it a waste of time building these new schools if they cannot get the right teachers should have saved money and done old schools up

Reply Posted by mick on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 12:53
Its not just about the school . Its about the upbringing of the children . Education starts at home and discipline should be the first lesson. Then there is the hope and aspirations of the children .When you see the trash low paid jobs available in this area .And youths can,t even get them jobs and they would prefer to employ immigrants.

Reply Posted by zana on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 12:55
she was no good as a head teacher she bared me from priory school cos off her helper in school insulting my son as he was getting bullied for 5 years in priory school lundwood with teachers and pupils.

Reply Posted by Michelle on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 13:45
Not a good teacher is an understatement. Both the kids and teachers hated her and both good kids and teachers left before her cos they had suffered enough. She went off sick when the Ofsted report criticised her and her methods and said the school was failing. It was her that was failing and letting our kids down. Time after time we asked to speak to her and sought answers and time after time she refused. She was a bully to the kids and bullying does not achieve the best from kids, quite the opposite in fact. Good riddance and I for one celebrated her 'step down', more like a push with a size 9 seeing as we had complained to Ofsted, Governors, local MP and even the Minister of Education as a last resort. Hopefully now they will recruit someone who understands education, parents, children and is willing to co-operate on all levels to ensure our children who attend that school will achieve what they deserve and bring the school above national averages not below.

Reply Posted by graham on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 16:10
had a few run ins with her in the end she wouldnt talk to me not interested in anything but image wasnt interested in kids safety on pontefract rd with out a corse way till i involved local councileer then she made out she sorted it and took my sons coat off him because he had his hood up in foeah she was strongly opposed to the new school then did a u turn and stabbed other members of staff in back and applied for job i for 1 wont miss her should have given john bretton job he did a fantastic job as stand in at priory and got respect from kids

Reply Posted by sarah owen on Sunday May 19 2013 at 14:10
i am definatly with you on that love , all my 3 children have gone / go to the school ,we have had lots of problems there and john was fantastic , sorted out straight away unlike her , i wont be missing her and neither will my kids

Reply Posted by Aidy on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 21:39
Glad to see underachieving is recognised and dealt with....eventually. No disrespect intended to anyone person but bloody hell...had some of the posters on here paid attention in class, there would like be an above National Average of spelling by some parents too??!

Reply Posted by Anon on Tuesday May 14 2013 at 23:03
Given that the schools merged and no help or assistance was offered to the school from the council should we really slate her..... There is only so much any one person can do without the backing of the council. As a person she was a good person, as a headteacher she had to cope with a lot of issues - not least of all two community schools who hated each other merging together.... I take my hat off to her having to managed not only students and teachers who hated each other but the parents it's no wonder it is not working...... Give them all a break and a chance... things take time..... change takes time. Don't be so harsh people she is still a human being at the end of the day.

Reply Posted by Tracy on Tuesday May 21 2013 at 08:56
My son is at this school and she was the head when it was priory all i can say is when it was priory SHE was fantastic but when it merged it went down hill as it was double the pupils and no extra funding . i also know THAT SHE DID leave on personal grounds x

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