Headteacher of Eaton Primary School suspended as investigation into “management issues” gets underway

PUBLISHED: 17:41 31 January 2014 | UPDATED: 17:41 31 January 2014

Steve Portas, who has been suspended as headteacher at Eaton Primary.

Steve Portas, who has been suspended as headteacher at Eaton Primary.

The headteacher of a primary school which was put into special measures after a damning Ofsted report has been suspended.

The governors of Eaton Primary School in Norwich said they suspended Steve Portas while an investigation takes place into “management issues”.

Parents were told the news in a letter sent home with pupils today.

No further details were released about the nature of the issues under investigation, or how long the investigation was expected to take.

In a statement, Malcolm Lysons, chair of governors at the 380-pupil school, said: “I can confirm that Steve Portas, head teacher of Eaton Primary School, has been suspended pending an investigation into management issues.

“The suspension is to ensure a full and fair investigation can take place in the interests of Mr Portas and the school.

“I am working closely with the local authority to ensure the availability of any additional support the school may need in order that the school itself continues to run normally.

“I am working closely with the officers of the county council to ensure we follow all of the correct procedures. However, as this matter is on-going, I am not in a position to comment further at this time.”

The council moved to reassure parents that an experienced headteacher will be at the school on Monday.

The school has been in special measures since an Ofsted report published in December downgraded it from “satisfactory”, when inspected in March 2012, to “inadequate”.

In a letter to parents in December, Mr Portas said he, staff and governors were “deeply disappointed” by the judgment, but said they viewed the outcome as a “catalyst for root and branch change”.

The inspectors had said almost one third of parents would not recommend the school to other parents, although many others were positive and “praised the care and attention their children received”.

The inspectors wrote: “Current school assessment data show that pupils’ underachievement is set to continue. With few exceptions, pupils across the school are working at only average levels for their age in reading, writing and mathematics. This is simply not good enough for these children.”

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