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Parents Stand By 'Failure' School's Headteacher

Monday December 2 2013

We Are Barnsley We Are Barnsley

A BARNSLEY headteacher has dramatically stepped down from her post - just days after inspectors branded her school a 'failure'.

Sharon Mapplebeck's sudden departure after 11 years at The Edmunds Primary School came as a 'complete shock', parents said.

Despite Ofsted saying the Worsbrough school has nose-dived from 'good' in 2011 to 'inadequate', and requires special measures - Ofsted's worst category of failing school - parents insist Ms Mapplebeck had 'done wonders' there and praised her for being 'very committed' and 'going above and beyond' her duties.

Isaac Suomie, a former governor with a son at the school, said: "I'm so sorry to see her go, it's very sad. She's a very nice headteacher."

One mum said: "This is no way to end a career. We were only told on Tuesday that she's leaving and for it to come mid-term makes you wonder if she's been asked to step down."

Her departure comes a month after a visit by Ofsted inspectors whose report was sent to the school last week.

It was critical of the achievement of pupils and the quality of teaching as well as the school's leadership and management.

The inspectors also said the behaviour and safety of pupils 'requires improvement'.

A summary of Ofsted's findings was sent out to parents and carers last Tuesday, along with a letter from Ms Mapplebeck announcing she would be standing down as headteacher and leaving on the following Friday.

Ms Mapplebeck wrote: "It has been a huge pleasure and privilege to have been the headteacher of this school .

"It has been a long and eventful journey, but one which has been well worth the challenge.

"Now it is time for someone else to take up the challenge and lead the school forward into the future.

"Whoever takes on that responsibility will be lucky to have such amazing pupils and such a capable and committed staff."

The report says pupils' achievement is inadequate because too many are not making the progress they're capable of.

Attainment in reading, writing and mathematics is also 'too low' in key stage one and two.

Teaching was branded 'inadequate' with the report saying teachers do not have high enough expectation of what pupils can achieve.

It states: "The school's judgement on how well it is doing is not accurate and too generous.

"Senior leaders do not track pupils' progress closely enough to know how well they are doing. Leaders do not check the quality of teaching thoroughly enough.

"Since the last inspection pupils' progress and the quality of teaching have declined. School leaders have not done enough to reverse this decline."

It also blasted governors for not holding school leaders to account.

A council spokesman said it's working with staff and governors to address the areas of concern identified in the Ofsted inspection.

He added: "Following the decision by the headteacher Sharon Mapplebeck to stand down from her post, arrangements are being put in place to ensure the school is well-led and managed and has the capacity to bring about rapid and significant improvements in both the quality of provision and children's achievements.

"The council wish to thank Mrs Mapplebeck for her 11 years of dedicated service."

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17 Showing 17 comments

Reply Posted by Elizabeth on Monday December 2 2013 at 11:12
I am shocked by this. I did some supply work a few years ago and thought Sharon Mapplebeck was a dedicated and competent headteacher. I wish her well whatever she does now.

Reply Posted by ... on Monday December 2 2013 at 11:13
She obviously wasn't close chums with OFSTED!

I hear Barnsley FC have just made a redundancy, give Flicker a chance, he might do better organising people that don't have to kick a ball for a living!

Reply Posted by Gail on Monday December 2 2013 at 11:53
I have never had any cause for concern with my children at this school. My eldest left with high levels and I have another daughter there at the moment who is doing very well and loves going to school. The staff at the school are committed to the children and will go the extra mile for any of them. My children have never had any problems with staff who have taught them - there are newer staff there that I can't comment on as I don't know them. Sad to see Miss Mapplebeck go - the children loved her. All I will say to the parents who are moaning about the school is - there are plenty of Primary Schools in Barnsley which you can transfer your children to or stop moaning and help the school look forward!

Reply Posted by skeptic on Monday December 2 2013 at 11:54
OFSTED drain all passion and joy from teaching. If teachers in classrooms used OFSTED as an example of how to inspire passion, drive and enjoyment the kids would feel dejected, confused and very very angry. They only tell schools what they think they are doing wrong, but never ever tell them how to do it right, because they don't know and wouldn't dare try. Overpaid F****rs Shafting Teachers Every Day!

Reply Posted by Anon on Monday December 2 2013 at 12:50
Well said skeptic! As a parent we all want our children to do well in school it's goes without saying but we also want them to be happy and taught in a way which is fun and encouraging if teachers taught as of ofstead deemed thed be sat at a desk 8 hours a day learning from txt books!

Reply Posted by becci on Monday December 2 2013 at 15:12
My daughter and son go to this school my daughter is is achieving above government guidelines! My son is still only young! My kids love the school and the teachers we has parents have a great relationship with the staff there too! the staff are dedicated so am sure it won't be long before they pull it up back to standards! They have all the support of the parents and pupils!!!

Reply Posted by jr on Monday December 2 2013 at 16:54
Jump through the OFSTED hoops!! Who would want to be a teacher with the pressures to perform like these expect. My heart goes out to the much liked and respected Head Mistress - what heartbreak to give your everything and be told it isn't good enough!! OFSTED are destroying the lives of good teachers and the education of children!!

Reply Posted by Ben Herbert on Monday December 2 2013 at 17:41
At last people are beginning to see that Ofsted don't report reality just what's needed to turn all schools into academies. We need to join the Nottingham MP who is saying how crass and inaccurate they are. My sympathies to the staff and pupils at this school for the harm that will now be done to them in the name of "raising standards"

Reply Posted by Suzie Feist on Monday December 2 2013 at 18:21
Ofsted inspectors often have an agenda about which the school knows nothing ! It's a political game. I have been in a number if schools since I retired from my role as an acting Headteacher and have seen schools assessed as being good or outstanding to which I would never send my child and vice versa

Reply Posted by Karen on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 09:10
My daughter left the edmunds in July to start high school and she got level 5s in all her SATS . I also have 2 sons there now and they are both doing very well. They have lost a good head teacher. My daughter and some of her old class even went to say goodbye to miss mapplebeck on Friday after school, what does that tell ofsted

Reply Posted by king louis on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 09:12
just look a Michael Grove who is like an African dictator, he is the head government minister and he wants trained teachers out and low paid un-skilled soldiers teaching in the classrooms. His subordinates will comply with his wishes and bring about those changes but the head teachers will require removing first. Expect more of this to happen

Reply Posted by stacey on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 09:54
If my daughter wasnt near her last yr I wud move her

Reply Posted by Alex Featherstone on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 15:39
My heart goes out to Miss Mapplebeck. It was a privilege to have had her as my headteacher; her robust leadership has always been exemplary and the amount of her own time she invested in to Edmund's will remain invaluable. Such as sad way for her career to end, I wish her every possible success for the future.

Reply Posted by Sue Ollett on Tuesday December 3 2013 at 19:54
I was very sad when I heard the dreadful news that my personal friend, Sharon Mapplebeck, had decided to fall on her sword and leave a very long and dedicated career. The school and children have always been her lifeblood; even times when she has suffered personal loss she has always carried on and maintained her, "business as usual" and selfless character. I hope she can now enjoy a long and happy retirement!

Reply Posted by opinions on Thursday December 5 2013 at 14:53
All schools av there good bits n bad bits it's part ov goin to school not all schools are perfect it's tough n it's a shame teachers get slated for it when it's both who bring the schools down

Reply Posted by ed on Tuesday December 10 2013 at 13:48
You reap what you sow. What goes around comes around. Faith in Ofsted restored.

Reply Posted by mary on Tuesday July 15 2014 at 18:39
i went to that school im suprised to see mrs mapallebeck go ferwell

ipso Regulated