‘Serious concerns’ after resignations en masse at Bury St Edmunds school

Howard Primary School sign  ANL-160609-122836009
Howard Primary School sign ANL-160609-122836009

A newly relocated Bury St Edmunds school is facing further disruption after its governing body resigned en masse and its headteacher went on indefinite leave.

An interim governing body is now in place at Howard Primary School following the resignation of its entire governing body.

Former vice-chairman Patrick Chung, who after 11 years was the school’s longest serving governor, said chairman Marie Bennett was ‘not very happy’ and, as a show of support, the rest of the governing body chose to step down.

But he said they would be willing to be reinstated if Suffolk County Council met with them to ‘clear the air’.

He said: “The county should have set up a meeting with all the governors to see what’s happening and what’s wrong. It doesn’t seem like the county cares about what goes on at the school and what’s happened with the governors. It’s very strange.”

The school, which moved to a site in Beard Road in September, has also seen the appointment of Claire Woodward as ‘associate headteacher’ after its headteacher Bernadette Higgins went on leave ‘due to personal reasons’.

Graham White, national executive member of the National Union of Teachers, said it was an ‘unusual’ situation, adding: “I hope Suffolk County Council have taken on board whatever the problems and issues are and have given it very serious consideration and are doing everything in their power to make sure Howard Primary remains a ‘good’ school under local authority control.”

Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants, said many parents were ‘very concerned’.

Parents who are can email Toby Slater-Robins, interim chairman of the governing body, at cogathowardprimary@tuta nota.com.

Ms Bennett was unavailable for comment.