Birmingham & Black Country

Saltley School head teacher Balwant Bains quits after Ofsted report

Saltley School sign
Image caption During the last inspection, Saltley School was rated as good by Ofsted

A head teacher has quit a Birmingham school which had been criticised by inspectors for a "breakdown" in relations between leaders.

Saltley School head teacher Balwant Bains said he left last Friday, in a letter sent to parents.

Ofsted inspectors said a "dysfunctional" relationship between the head and governors was hindering the school.

In September, the school was criticised for its handling of a knife incident.

Mr Bains's statement said: "I have made the brave and difficult decision to leave Saltley School with effect from Friday, 15 November.

"I have... concluded that I cannot carry out my roles and responsibilities as head teacher here."

The knife row was sparked when a pupil excluded in May for threatening other children was allowed to return.

Several months on, staff voted to refuse to teach the teenager.

During the last general inspection in May, Ofsted found Saltley School, a specialist science college with about 950 pupils aged 11 to 16, to be good.

'Lack of trust'

However, concerns over leadership and management prompted a monitoring inspection, which was carried out on 5 November.

Image caption The resignation was announced in a letter sent to parents

A report published on Wednesday found: "The dysfunctional relationship between the governors and the head teacher is damaging the school's capacity to improve."

Ofsted said there was a "lack of trust" between both parties, with each holding contradictory views about their work and performance.

"As a result there is no cohesive drive or shared vision on how to improve the school," the report said.

"Communication between the governors and the head teacher is ineffective."

Despite the issues, the report said Mr Bains had been able to improve teaching and learning but had not always sufficiently informed governors of his findings, which had exacerbated the poor relations.

It also said governors had "failed to act upon local authority advice about their roles and responsibilities" despite training.

Intervention by Birmingham City Council has also so far failed to resolve matters.

'Working together'

In a statement, the local authority said it was continuing to work with both the leadership team and the governors.

A council spokesperson claimed Mr Baines was "currently on leave and will not be returning to the school".

"All parties are working together to ensure the school not only remains 'good' but continues on its journey to 'outstanding'," they added.

The governors of the school said they were "working very hard in developing an effective action plan to address the issues raised by Ofsted and to ensure good relationships between all staff, senior leadership and the governing body".

In a statement, they said: "We are recruiting an interim executive head teacher in light of Balwant Bains leaving the school last Friday.

"That person will play a key role in helping ensure there are effective working relationships and that collectively we are able to achieve outstanding outcomes for all of our students."

Inspectors said immediate action must be taken and Ofsted would continue to monitor the situation and bring the next inspection forward if progress was too slow.

Reacting to the news of the resignation, one parent said: "I think the head teacher was made a scapegoat."

Birmingham MP Liam Byrne urged parents not to take their children out the school.

"The city council and Ofsted are very much on the case and our determination is very simple and clear… the issues are known they are on the table," he said.

"The governors have now got to respond with an action plan. If the plan is not good enough Ofsted will be back in."

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