Pimlico free school head teacher Annaliese Briggs steps down

media captionPimlico Primary said Annaliese Briggs left the job to 'pursue other opportunities in primary education'

A head teacher whose appointment to a new free school was criticised has quit her post weeks after starting.

Pimlico Primary, which opened in September, said Annaliese Briggs, 27, had left the job to "pursue other opportunities in primary education".

Miss Briggs was appointed in April as the head while still studying for her postgraduate certificate in education.

Labour councillors in Westminster said governors may be regretting appointing someone with "no teaching experience".

The primary school opened at the site of Pimlico Academy in Lupus Street, central London, with 60 pupils and aims to have 420 pupils by 2019.

Pimlico Primary is sponsored by Future Academies, a charity founded by Lord Nash and his wife Caroline.

Governor role

A statement from Pimlico Primary said: "Having successfully set up Pimlico Primary, Annaliese Briggs has decided to leave Future Academies to pursue other opportunities in primary education.

"A new principal of Pimlico Primary has been appointed. Coming from within the group, our new principal is already known to the pupils and families of Pimlico Primary, and brings over 10 years' experience in both early years and leadership.

"We are delighted that Annaliese will continue to support Pimlico Primary as it grows by becoming a governor."

Miss Briggs is completing a school-centred initial teacher training (SCITT) course in Wandsworth and will qualify with a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE).

She previously said she has classroom experience from teaching primary school children in supplementary schools and had been chosen to lead the school for her curriculum expertise.

Reacting to the news that Miss Briggs has stepped down, leader of the Labour group at Westminster Council Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg said: "Being the head of an inner-London school is a tough job which can sometimes be very stressful.

"By appointing someone with no teaching experience or experience in running a school, the Pimlico academy governors might now consider that this is a decision they now regret.

"I hope that Ms Briggs' commitment to education is undiminished and wish her well in her future career."

The Department for Education said it was a matter for the school.

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