Richmond School headteacher took decisions on £750,000 building project without authority, documents show

Darlington and Stockton Times: Richmond School headteacher Ian Robertson Richmond School headteacher Ian Robertson

THE headteacher of Richmond School appointed a project manager and lined up a construction company to build a new £750,000 sports pavilion without consulting governors or following local authority procurement guidelines, it has emerged.

The discovery sheds new light on a breakdown in the relationship between governors and senior teachers at the school which resulted in the governing body resigning.

It is understood headteacher Ian Robertson appointed Chester-le-Street-based chartered surveyors Lumsdon Wood to oversee the pavilion project .

He also commissioned Richmond construction company, Randall Orchard, to draw up designs, later telling governors the company was his preferred choice.

However, governors and North Yorkshire County Council stepped in after it emerged both decisions were taken without the governing body’s involvement or approval, and without the arrangements conforming to public procurement policies.

Governors voted instead to pay the companies for the work they had already done and start again with a tendering exercise that met procurement guidelines.

Documents obtained by The Northern Echo reveal that governors were also not asked before the school’s contribution towards the pavilion project rose from £150,000 to £250,000.

In a further revelation, it emerged the governing body had a discussion in January of this year about how to tackle a £350,000 budget deficit predicted by the school for 2014/15 and 2015/16.

It has already emerged that the former governing body resigned enmasse after a breakdown in relationship with the school's senior leadership.

An interim executive board (IEB) has been appointed to run the school.

Anne Skeoch, former chair of the governing body which resigned, declined to comment on the new information.

Graeme Newton, Randall Orchard managing director, said the company was approached by the school to provide budget and planning advice as it was aware the company had previously completed similar schemes for Barnard Castle School, Reeth and District Athletic Club and Richmondshire Rugby club.

North Yorkshire County Council said itself and the IEB had been made aware of these matters and they would be considered in due course.

Chris Lewis, chair of the IEB said the board's priorities included adopting policies and procedures as a foundation for establishing good governance.

He added: “The IEB will put the students first, focus upon the proper stewardship of the school since the board's inception and work tirelessly to secure its future success.

"It is apparent that Richmond School is a good school. Its trajectory is towards becoming an outstanding school.”

Comments (33)

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7:17am Fri 11 Apr 14

Howardscorton says...

Tip of the iceberg !
Tip of the iceberg ! Howardscorton
  • Score: -3

7:28am Fri 11 Apr 14

Howardscorton says...

No Idea, NO IDEA what the remarks of Chris Lewis mean at all. Just gobbledygook waffle that has no connection to the matter in question at all. This is an article about abuse of office by the headteacher, Any comment Chris Lewis?
No Idea, NO IDEA what the remarks of Chris Lewis mean at all. Just gobbledygook waffle that has no connection to the matter in question at all. This is an article about abuse of office by the headteacher, Any comment Chris Lewis? Howardscorton
  • Score: -11

12:49pm Fri 11 Apr 14

emmaowl79 says...

So what's he planning on doing for the not so sporty kids?...or should that be what is he going to cut or be more biased to..... Have a child that does Music or Sport....you're on to a winner ...Drama or Dance based child don't expect any awards and the rest are waiting to be academy fodder!!
So what's he planning on doing for the not so sporty kids?...or should that be what is he going to cut or be more biased to..... Have a child that does Music or Sport....you're on to a winner ...Drama or Dance based child don't expect any awards and the rest are waiting to be academy fodder!! emmaowl79
  • Score: -20

1:36pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Pete Sakes says...

Perhaps the headmaster of this school can actually think for himself. If he had gone down what the council call the correct route the process would in my experience have taken miles longer and the price gained by the worst, sorry, best value department at the council would have been considerably higher for a worse job.
Perhaps the headmaster of this school can actually think for himself. If he had gone down what the council call the correct route the process would in my experience have taken miles longer and the price gained by the worst, sorry, best value department at the council would have been considerably higher for a worse job. Pete Sakes
  • Score: 13

2:05pm Fri 11 Apr 14

NCN2014 says...

Such a dictator I've got a feeling that more revelations are going to come out, it's like prison at that school, the moral of the staff there must be so low! Horrid man
Such a dictator I've got a feeling that more revelations are going to come out, it's like prison at that school, the moral of the staff there must be so low! Horrid man NCN2014
  • Score: -2

3:34pm Fri 11 Apr 14

ianh says...

At the end of the day (assuming this report is accurate) the Head has acted beyond his authority and without the knowledge of his board of Governors.
This would appear to be an extremely serious case.

Surely this should (as a minimum) result in him being censured, and in all probability deserving of more severe action.

Quite why the Govs chose to resign rather than take action themselves I have no idea....though i expect there is plenty more to come....
At the end of the day (assuming this report is accurate) the Head has acted beyond his authority and without the knowledge of his board of Governors. This would appear to be an extremely serious case. Surely this should (as a minimum) result in him being censured, and in all probability deserving of more severe action. Quite why the Govs chose to resign rather than take action themselves I have no idea....though i expect there is plenty more to come.... ianh
  • Score: -8

4:41pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Howardscorton says...

I started the petition calling for an independent investigation of this man, so far 190 people have signed it, mostly with personal experience of how, in 4 years he has changed a once happy, rewarding environment into a fearful, intimidatind place formany staff and students.This financial issue really is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more being covered up and the IEB have been kept totally in the dark by school and LEA. Unfortunately they have shown no interest at all in talking to people who have personal experience of Ian Robertson's methods. The sooner all of this comes out into the open (and it will) the better.
I started the petition calling for an independent investigation of this man, so far 190 people have signed it, mostly with personal experience of how, in 4 years he has changed a once happy, rewarding environment into a fearful, intimidatind place formany staff and students.This financial issue really is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more being covered up and the IEB have been kept totally in the dark by school and LEA. Unfortunately they have shown no interest at all in talking to people who have personal experience of Ian Robertson's methods. The sooner all of this comes out into the open (and it will) the better. Howardscorton
  • Score: -8

4:45pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Howardscorton says...

http://www.change.or
g/petitions/interim-
executive-governors-
richmond-school-end-
the-cover-up-at-rich
mond-school

please sign our petition if you support our call for an independent investigation
http://www.change.or g/petitions/interim- executive-governors- richmond-school-end- the-cover-up-at-rich mond-school please sign our petition if you support our call for an independent investigation Howardscorton
  • Score: -14

6:52pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Chris56 says...

I have to agree with HowardScorton - it is appalling that this man has been allowed to turn a fantastic school into the horror that it is today. Under Jim Jack and Phil Beaver this school was a warm, vibrant place but Ian Robertson has destroyed that completely. Utterly shameful!
I have to agree with HowardScorton - it is appalling that this man has been allowed to turn a fantastic school into the horror that it is today. Under Jim Jack and Phil Beaver this school was a warm, vibrant place but Ian Robertson has destroyed that completely. Utterly shameful! Chris56
  • Score: -5

10:27pm Fri 11 Apr 14

cswan1 says...

Was interesting to read that Mr Robertson had chosen Lumsdon Wood as I understand that Darrin Marshall, who owns the company is married to the chair of governors of Robertson's previous school. Nepotism? Cronyism?
Was interesting to read that Mr Robertson had chosen Lumsdon Wood as I understand that Darrin Marshall, who owns the company is married to the chair of governors of Robertson's previous school. Nepotism? Cronyism? cswan1
  • Score: -9

10:57pm Fri 11 Apr 14

jenjow says...

My daughter has almost completed her schooling at Richmond (last year of 6th form) and she has said to me many times that this school has improved so much since Mr Robertson became head teacher. Four years ago she was missing lessons, had a girl beat her up and showed no signs of achieving. She did beyond expectations in her GCSE's and AS' and is predicted A's ans B's in her A levels. Hard work done by her and the teachers and encouraged by Mr Robertson in her chosen career path.
He's paid to lead, let him crack on doing his job and maybe the governers need to leave and be replaced by new ones who will support him. He hasn't spent the money on a fancy house, car or holiday for himself, he wants the school to do well and the kid's to get the best possible opportunities.......
sometimes there is too much red tape for us all. Lets move on, the kids all have exams coming up and don't need distracting. If you must moan on being critical, do it in the 6 weeks summer holidays. Please put the kids first!
My daughter has almost completed her schooling at Richmond (last year of 6th form) and she has said to me many times that this school has improved so much since Mr Robertson became head teacher. Four years ago she was missing lessons, had a girl beat her up and showed no signs of achieving. She did beyond expectations in her GCSE's and AS' and is predicted A's ans B's in her A levels. Hard work done by her and the teachers and encouraged by Mr Robertson in her chosen career path. He's paid to lead, let him crack on doing his job and maybe the governers need to leave and be replaced by new ones who will support him. He hasn't spent the money on a fancy house, car or holiday for himself, he wants the school to do well and the kid's to get the best possible opportunities....... sometimes there is too much red tape for us all. Lets move on, the kids all have exams coming up and don't need distracting. If you must moan on being critical, do it in the 6 weeks summer holidays. Please put the kids first! jenjow
  • Score: 25

11:35pm Fri 11 Apr 14

cswan1 says...

jenjow wrote:
My daughter has almost completed her schooling at Richmond (last year of 6th form) and she has said to me many times that this school has improved so much since Mr Robertson became head teacher. Four years ago she was missing lessons, had a girl beat her up and showed no signs of achieving. She did beyond expectations in her GCSE's and AS' and is predicted A's ans B's in her A levels. Hard work done by her and the teachers and encouraged by Mr Robertson in her chosen career path.
He's paid to lead, let him crack on doing his job and maybe the governers need to leave and be replaced by new ones who will support him. He hasn't spent the money on a fancy house, car or holiday for himself, he wants the school to do well and the kid's to get the best possible opportunities.......

sometimes there is too much red tape for us all. Lets move on, the kids all have exams coming up and don't need distracting. If you must moan on being critical, do it in the 6 weeks summer holidays. Please put the kids first!
Sorry but I think Mr Robertson is all about self promotion and is keen to focus on A* students as they make him look good. Am pleased that it worked out well for your daughter though
[quote][p][bold]jenjow[/bold] wrote: My daughter has almost completed her schooling at Richmond (last year of 6th form) and she has said to me many times that this school has improved so much since Mr Robertson became head teacher. Four years ago she was missing lessons, had a girl beat her up and showed no signs of achieving. She did beyond expectations in her GCSE's and AS' and is predicted A's ans B's in her A levels. Hard work done by her and the teachers and encouraged by Mr Robertson in her chosen career path. He's paid to lead, let him crack on doing his job and maybe the governers need to leave and be replaced by new ones who will support him. He hasn't spent the money on a fancy house, car or holiday for himself, he wants the school to do well and the kid's to get the best possible opportunities....... sometimes there is too much red tape for us all. Lets move on, the kids all have exams coming up and don't need distracting. If you must moan on being critical, do it in the 6 weeks summer holidays. Please put the kids first![/p][/quote]Sorry but I think Mr Robertson is all about self promotion and is keen to focus on A* students as they make him look good. Am pleased that it worked out well for your daughter though cswan1
  • Score: -19

9:06am Sat 12 Apr 14

Howardscorton says...

So many "coincidences! Fortunately the (now ex) governors stopped him giving a £750000 (3/4 of a million!) building contract to a firm which has one of his golfing pals as a director. No advertising, no competive tendering. He had already contracted a firm of architects to draw up the plans with no advertising and no tendering. Again, coincidentally, the head of governors from his previous school in Chester le Street is married to a director of that architects business. I wonder how many other coincidenceds there are?

If you have a personal story to tell regarding Ian Robertsons unusual (thankfully!) style of management please let me know, in confidence if you wish.
howardscorton@btinte
rnet.com
So many "coincidences! Fortunately the (now ex) governors stopped him giving a £750000 (3/4 of a million!) building contract to a firm which has one of his golfing pals as a director. No advertising, no competive tendering. He had already contracted a firm of architects to draw up the plans with no advertising and no tendering. Again, coincidentally, the head of governors from his previous school in Chester le Street is married to a director of that architects business. I wonder how many other coincidenceds there are? If you have a personal story to tell regarding Ian Robertsons unusual (thankfully!) style of management please let me know, in confidence if you wish. howardscorton@btinte rnet.com Howardscorton
  • Score: -14

5:17pm Sat 12 Apr 14

worriede says...

If what we are reading is true then surely the police need to get involved .
If what we are reading is true then surely the police need to get involved . worriede
  • Score: -19

5:35pm Sat 12 Apr 14

worriede says...

Can anyone tell me how to find the head of governors e mail. He promised this would be put on the school website asap but I cant find it and Mr Robertson said it would be done
Can anyone tell me how to find the head of governors e mail. He promised this would be put on the school website asap but I cant find it and Mr Robertson said it would be done worriede
  • Score: -13

5:49pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Howardscorton says...

to worriede
No governors anymore, now any emergency board (IEB) chosen by LEA with no parents and no elected members, Chris Lewis (who made that promise) has not done it. Still the only way to contact him or other members of the IEB is via email to Ian Robertson's personal asistant. I sent a message to all members by this route to IEB members, before that meeting, providing a link to petition site and suggesting they read comments from (then) about 40 parents, students and staff. I strongly suspect that that message never got to them.I underestand that they told the meeting that they knew nothing of recent history and apparently didn't think that they needed to.
to worriede No governors anymore, now any emergency board (IEB) chosen by LEA with no parents and no elected members, Chris Lewis (who made that promise) has not done it. Still the only way to contact him or other members of the IEB is via email to Ian Robertson's personal asistant. I sent a message to all members by this route to IEB members, before that meeting, providing a link to petition site and suggesting they read comments from (then) about 40 parents, students and staff. I strongly suspect that that message never got to them.I underestand that they told the meeting that they knew nothing of recent history and apparently didn't think that they needed to. Howardscorton
  • Score: -20

7:46pm Sat 12 Apr 14

Purple2jon says...

Oh Dear, just how much I agree with the comments that have been made about the management of this school. Never before in more than thirty years of teaching experience in several different schools have I ever come across such an overbearing, oppressive and dominating regime.
Oh Dear, just how much I agree with the comments that have been made about the management of this school. Never before in more than thirty years of teaching experience in several different schools have I ever come across such an overbearing, oppressive and dominating regime. Purple2jon
  • Score: -6

4:15pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Richmond49 says...

This headmaster has a proven track record of taking some of the countries poor performing schools and turning them into successes. I am shocked that some local people and this newspaper are prepared to use the removal of the Governors by the LEA as an excuse to perform such a bitter and twisted witch hunt against one individual. The head has a management team within the LEA that he reports to and I am sure he is unable to defend his position without their approval, it was not the head that was pushed out by the LEA!

This school has gone from being an average performer to one of the best in the county in a short period, this can only happen by huge commitment and darn hard work by the head and his team. The facilities and teachers are now superb, such a stepped change can only happen by driving through change and inevitably there will be some people that are unable to accommodate it.

I hope this ridiculous, bitter and personal abuse by a sad minority that are being wound up by a newspaper that is only interested in number of sales will soon cease, Richmond is a wonderful town and we need to be applying the effort in a more positive direction for the sake of our children.
This headmaster has a proven track record of taking some of the countries poor performing schools and turning them into successes. I am shocked that some local people and this newspaper are prepared to use the removal of the Governors by the LEA as an excuse to perform such a bitter and twisted witch hunt against one individual. The head has a management team within the LEA that he reports to and I am sure he is unable to defend his position without their approval, it was not the head that was pushed out by the LEA! This school has gone from being an average performer to one of the best in the county in a short period, this can only happen by huge commitment and darn hard work by the head and his team. The facilities and teachers are now superb, such a stepped change can only happen by driving through change and inevitably there will be some people that are unable to accommodate it. I hope this ridiculous, bitter and personal abuse by a sad minority that are being wound up by a newspaper that is only interested in number of sales will soon cease, Richmond is a wonderful town and we need to be applying the effort in a more positive direction for the sake of our children. Richmond49
  • Score: 15

6:04pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Traser says...

Richmond49

Go back and hide under your bridge, you troll.
Richmond49 Go back and hide under your bridge, you troll. Traser
  • Score: -25

6:41pm Tue 15 Apr 14

worriede says...

I have contacted Mr Lewis and asked why he has not put his email address on the school web site for everyone as he promised and was agreed by the Headmaster see below the reply I had from him !!!!!!!!!!!!

I have forwarded your comments to the Director of Education.

Chris Lewis
I have contacted Mr Lewis and asked why he has not put his email address on the school web site for everyone as he promised and was agreed by the Headmaster see below the reply I had from him !!!!!!!!!!!! I have forwarded your comments to the Director of Education. Chris Lewis worriede
  • Score: -15

7:24pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Howardscorton says...

to worriede

same old, same old! waffle, evasion, avoidance etc. etc. etc. The IEB is a group of supposedly independent members brought in to get things back on track.. Ho Ho Ho. At their first meeting, set up as a closed meeting for members of IEB and parents only, Chris Lewis evicted a Richmond councillor who has "corporate parent" status but the headteacher and his deputy remained for the whole meeting. It would be a brave parent who voiced any criticism fearful of repercussions for their child or children still at the school. Fearful with some justification given what we are hearing about his bullying management style.
to worriede same old, same old! waffle, evasion, avoidance etc. etc. etc. The IEB is a group of supposedly independent members brought in to get things back on track.. Ho Ho Ho. At their first meeting, set up as a closed meeting for members of IEB and parents only, Chris Lewis evicted a Richmond councillor who has "corporate parent" status but the headteacher and his deputy remained for the whole meeting. It would be a brave parent who voiced any criticism fearful of repercussions for their child or children still at the school. Fearful with some justification given what we are hearing about his bullying management style. Howardscorton
  • Score: -19

8:03pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Purple2jon says...

Richmond 49. should take careful note of the comments posted about this situation when Howardscorton states that a parent may have to be concerned for their child that there may be repercussions if they raise any awkward issues ,which will inevitably affect the child's progress or well being. Just what is going on? Does it not also appear that the LEA are also trying to support a somewhat embarrassing situation that they have found themselves to be in ?
Strange to find that they (the MANAGEMENT) at all levels close ranks so quickly....makes one think that they may have something to hide ?
Richmond 49. should take careful note of the comments posted about this situation when Howardscorton states that a parent may have to be concerned for their child that there may be repercussions if they raise any awkward issues ,which will inevitably affect the child's progress or well being. Just what is going on? Does it not also appear that the LEA are also trying to support a somewhat embarrassing situation that they have found themselves to be in ? Strange to find that they (the MANAGEMENT) at all levels close ranks so quickly....makes one think that they may have something to hide ? Purple2jon
  • Score: -17

8:15pm Tue 15 Apr 14

Howardscorton says...

http://www.change.or
g/petitions/interim-
executive-governors-
richmond-school-end-
the-cover-up-at-rich
mond-school

If you want to read about personal experiences of the senior management from parents, students and staff (past and present) see comments left on this petition site
http://www.change.or g/petitions/interim- executive-governors- richmond-school-end- the-cover-up-at-rich mond-school If you want to read about personal experiences of the senior management from parents, students and staff (past and present) see comments left on this petition site Howardscorton
  • Score: -19

10:06pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Vmears says...

Traser wrote:
Richmond49

Go back and hide under your bridge, you troll.
very intelligent (not) in a democracy everyone has a right to comment and making derisory comments is pathetic and a waste of time.
[quote][p][bold]Traser[/bold] wrote: Richmond49 Go back and hide under your bridge, you troll.[/p][/quote]very intelligent (not) in a democracy everyone has a right to comment and making derisory comments is pathetic and a waste of time. Vmears
  • Score: 22

10:09pm Wed 16 Apr 14

Vmears says...

Traser wrote:
Richmond49

Go back and hide under your bridge, you troll.
pathetic comments like that just show the immaturity of some people. Obviously not educated at Richmond school since Mr Robertson has been the head.
[quote][p][bold]Traser[/bold] wrote: Richmond49 Go back and hide under your bridge, you troll.[/p][/quote]pathetic comments like that just show the immaturity of some people. Obviously not educated at Richmond school since Mr Robertson has been the head. Vmears
  • Score: 18

5:44am Thu 17 Apr 14

Howardscorton says...

To those who say that educational standards have improved.
If one is selective enough it would be possible to say that standards have improved in almost any school in the country. It depends what criteria one chooses and (more importantly) which areas to ignore.
Any parent or prospecitve 6th form student should look specifically at last years' (2013) A Level AS results. My son spent a year there, often coming home at night despairing of the quality of teaching he was receiving. At the end of that year AS results for a large number of students were shockingly bad in many subjects. I was able to get figure for those subjects that my son took. In Biology, 63% of all pupils were graded below C, 32.3% were U (ungraded, not worth the lowest possible mark of E) .In Politics it was 37.5% below C and 21% at U. I now know that there were even worse results in some other subjects.
So, Richmond School took some of the brightest young people of their year (Richmond only accepts students with minimum 5 good GCSEs, many of those who got Us had 10 or 11 As and A*s) and after 12 months teaching 1/3 of them are not worth a mark. What does that tell you?
AS grades are very important in a young person's education as they make up 40% of the final A Level grade. Secondly, they are what university admissions tutors look to for evidence of an applicant's ability Some young people in 2013 took 4 **** and received 4 U grades and many other 2 or 3 Us. I have no doubt that in some subjects, in some years standards (well grades anyway) have improved, there are still some excellent teachers at Richmond School, BUT look closer at the results that they don' want to talk about and it is a different picture. Any parent or prospective 6th form student needs to get information about last year's AS results in their subjects, specifically asking " how many students were graded below C and how many Us?"
My son restarted his A Levels at Q.E. in Darlington, effectively having wasted a year at Richmond (many others left at the end of that year too) What a difference! If you want to see how an excellent 6th form college educates our children, look there.
The LEA and Ian Robertson will feed you the information that they want you to see and deflect you from what has been happening here. It is a good idea to look a little deeper, get some information from concerned parents, students and staff about their actual experiences here, not just rely on LEA gloss.
To those who say that educational standards have improved. If one is selective enough it would be possible to say that standards have improved in almost any school in the country. It depends what criteria one chooses and (more importantly) which areas to ignore. Any parent or prospecitve 6th form student should look specifically at last years' (2013) A Level AS results. My son spent a year there, often coming home at night despairing of the quality of teaching he was receiving. At the end of that year AS results for a large number of students were shockingly bad in many subjects. I was able to get figure for those subjects that my son took. In Biology, 63% of all pupils were graded below C, 32.3% were U (ungraded, not worth the lowest possible mark of E) .In Politics it was 37.5% below C and 21% at U. I now know that there were even worse results in some other subjects. So, Richmond School took some of the brightest young people of their year (Richmond only accepts students with minimum 5 good GCSEs, many of those who got Us had 10 or 11 As and A*s) and after 12 months teaching 1/3 of them are not worth a mark. What does that tell you? AS grades are very important in a young person's education as they make up 40% of the final A Level grade. Secondly, they are what university admissions tutors look to for evidence of an applicant's ability Some young people in 2013 took 4 **** and received 4 U grades and many other 2 or 3 Us. I have no doubt that in some subjects, in some years standards (well grades anyway) have improved, there are still some excellent teachers at Richmond School, BUT look closer at the results that they don' want to talk about and it is a different picture. Any parent or prospective 6th form student needs to get information about last year's AS results in their subjects, specifically asking " how many students were graded below C and how many Us?" My son restarted his A Levels at Q.E. in Darlington, effectively having wasted a year at Richmond (many others left at the end of that year too) What a difference! If you want to see how an excellent 6th form college educates our children, look there. The LEA and Ian Robertson will feed you the information that they want you to see and deflect you from what has been happening here. It is a good idea to look a little deeper, get some information from concerned parents, students and staff about their actual experiences here, not just rely on LEA gloss. Howardscorton
  • Score: -17

9:57am Thu 17 Apr 14

Bulmer says...

Even a cursory glance at the evidence relating to Richmond School's performance immediately prior to Ian Robertson's arrival makes it clear that the school was mediocre at best and facing the prospect of catastrophic failure. Right now there is every possibility of Richmond becoming one of the highest performing schools in the region. Broken down into its constituent parts , this is a story of individual students facing a bright future equipped with excellent grades and the skills needed to become successful. Those embroiled in what seems to be a vindictive campaign of personal abuse should calm down. They represent the dying vestige of smug complacency that led to the school's decline in the first place.
Put the children of the town first. Richmond is now a thriving education community, widely respected and, as far as I can see, led by a strong and dedicated leadership and teaching team.
Even a cursory glance at the evidence relating to Richmond School's performance immediately prior to Ian Robertson's arrival makes it clear that the school was mediocre at best and facing the prospect of catastrophic failure. Right now there is every possibility of Richmond becoming one of the highest performing schools in the region. Broken down into its constituent parts , this is a story of individual students facing a bright future equipped with excellent grades and the skills needed to become successful. Those embroiled in what seems to be a vindictive campaign of personal abuse should calm down. They represent the dying vestige of smug complacency that led to the school's decline in the first place. Put the children of the town first. Richmond is now a thriving education community, widely respected and, as far as I can see, led by a strong and dedicated leadership and teaching team. Bulmer
  • Score: -18

1:29pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Howardscorton says...

To Bulmer
You are clearly a fan of ian Robertson so unlikely to be interested in accounts from parents pupils and staff who have personal experience of his bullying, intimidation, nepotism, and agressive dictatorial managemen.
However, two points you make are worth challenging:
1. you are unlikely to find many people in Richmond (with experience as parents, students and teachers) who agree with you that the school was "mediocre" and facing "catastrohic failure" under the headships of Jim Jacks and Phil Beever. Quite the opposite.
2.Students "equipped with excellent grades" ??? Have you actually looked at the A Level AS results of last August. In one subject alone 63% of students got below C grades (fail marks) and 1/3 of all who took the exams were graded U (not worth giving even the lowest mark of E to). In some subjects results were even worse.
"bright future" and "excellent grades" ? Really?
To Bulmer You are clearly a fan of ian Robertson so unlikely to be interested in accounts from parents pupils and staff who have personal experience of his bullying, intimidation, nepotism, and agressive dictatorial managemen. However, two points you make are worth challenging: 1. you are unlikely to find many people in Richmond (with experience as parents, students and teachers) who agree with you that the school was "mediocre" and facing "catastrohic failure" under the headships of Jim Jacks and Phil Beever. Quite the opposite. 2.Students "equipped with excellent grades" ??? Have you actually looked at the A Level AS results of last August. In one subject alone 63% of students got below C grades (fail marks) and 1/3 of all who took the exams were graded U (not worth giving even the lowest mark of E to). In some subjects results were even worse. "bright future" and "excellent grades" ? Really? Howardscorton
  • Score: -11

3:59pm Wed 23 Apr 14

NCN2014 says...

Howardscorton wrote:
I started the petition calling for an independent investigation of this man, so far 190 people have signed it, mostly with personal experience of how, in 4 years he has changed a once happy, rewarding environment into a fearful, intimidatind place formany staff and students.This financial issue really is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more being covered up and the IEB have been kept totally in the dark by school and LEA. Unfortunately they have shown no interest at all in talking to people who have personal experience of Ian Robertson's methods. The sooner all of this comes out into the open (and it will) the better.
Ian Robertson doesn't give two hoots about anyone or anything at that school as being a former pupil at both the school and sixth form, the sixth formers are treat like year7s being made to adhere to rules that are quite frankly insulting!!
[quote][p][bold]Howardscorton[/bold] wrote: I started the petition calling for an independent investigation of this man, so far 190 people have signed it, mostly with personal experience of how, in 4 years he has changed a once happy, rewarding environment into a fearful, intimidatind place formany staff and students.This financial issue really is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so much more being covered up and the IEB have been kept totally in the dark by school and LEA. Unfortunately they have shown no interest at all in talking to people who have personal experience of Ian Robertson's methods. The sooner all of this comes out into the open (and it will) the better.[/p][/quote]Ian Robertson doesn't give two hoots about anyone or anything at that school as being a former pupil at both the school and sixth form, the sixth formers are treat like year7s being made to adhere to rules that are quite frankly insulting!! NCN2014
  • Score: -19

4:02pm Wed 23 Apr 14

NCN2014 says...

jenjow wrote:
My daughter has almost completed her schooling at Richmond (last year of 6th form) and she has said to me many times that this school has improved so much since Mr Robertson became head teacher. Four years ago she was missing lessons, had a girl beat her up and showed no signs of achieving. She did beyond expectations in her GCSE's and AS' and is predicted A's ans B's in her A levels. Hard work done by her and the teachers and encouraged by Mr Robertson in her chosen career path.
He's paid to lead, let him crack on doing his job and maybe the governers need to leave and be replaced by new ones who will support him. He hasn't spent the money on a fancy house, car or holiday for himself, he wants the school to do well and the kid's to get the best possible opportunities.......

sometimes there is too much red tape for us all. Lets move on, the kids all have exams coming up and don't need distracting. If you must moan on being critical, do it in the 6 weeks summer holidays. Please put the kids first!
Believe me they don't give a **** about pupils who aren't expected to get A/A*/B. Having first hand experience of this they ignore pupils who are struggling!
[quote][p][bold]jenjow[/bold] wrote: My daughter has almost completed her schooling at Richmond (last year of 6th form) and she has said to me many times that this school has improved so much since Mr Robertson became head teacher. Four years ago she was missing lessons, had a girl beat her up and showed no signs of achieving. She did beyond expectations in her GCSE's and AS' and is predicted A's ans B's in her A levels. Hard work done by her and the teachers and encouraged by Mr Robertson in her chosen career path. He's paid to lead, let him crack on doing his job and maybe the governers need to leave and be replaced by new ones who will support him. He hasn't spent the money on a fancy house, car or holiday for himself, he wants the school to do well and the kid's to get the best possible opportunities....... sometimes there is too much red tape for us all. Lets move on, the kids all have exams coming up and don't need distracting. If you must moan on being critical, do it in the 6 weeks summer holidays. Please put the kids first![/p][/quote]Believe me they don't give a **** about pupils who aren't expected to get A/A*/B. Having first hand experience of this they ignore pupils who are struggling! NCN2014
  • Score: -19

4:06pm Wed 23 Apr 14

NCN2014 says...

Purple2jon wrote:
Richmond 49. should take careful note of the comments posted about this situation when Howardscorton states that a parent may have to be concerned for their child that there may be repercussions if they raise any awkward issues ,which will inevitably affect the child's progress or well being. Just what is going on? Does it not also appear that the LEA are also trying to support a somewhat embarrassing situation that they have found themselves to be in ?
Strange to find that they (the MANAGEMENT) at all levels close ranks so quickly....makes one think that they may have something to hide ?
Of course they are hiding something, it's pretty obvious to parents, pupils and staff including former, Ian Robertson looks out for himself and tries to hide and bury anything that could cause him and his career harm!
[quote][p][bold]Purple2jon[/bold] wrote: Richmond 49. should take careful note of the comments posted about this situation when Howardscorton states that a parent may have to be concerned for their child that there may be repercussions if they raise any awkward issues ,which will inevitably affect the child's progress or well being. Just what is going on? Does it not also appear that the LEA are also trying to support a somewhat embarrassing situation that they have found themselves to be in ? Strange to find that they (the MANAGEMENT) at all levels close ranks so quickly....makes one think that they may have something to hide ?[/p][/quote]Of course they are hiding something, it's pretty obvious to parents, pupils and staff including former, Ian Robertson looks out for himself and tries to hide and bury anything that could cause him and his career harm! NCN2014
  • Score: -15

1:50am Fri 2 May 14

NCN2014 says...

worriede wrote:
Can anyone tell me how to find the head of governors e mail. He promised this would be put on the school website asap but I cant find it and Mr Robertson said it would be done
Don't trust anything that man says, he doesn't care about anyone but himself!
[quote][p][bold]worriede[/bold] wrote: Can anyone tell me how to find the head of governors e mail. He promised this would be put on the school website asap but I cant find it and Mr Robertson said it would be done[/p][/quote]Don't trust anything that man says, he doesn't care about anyone but himself! NCN2014
  • Score: -12

1:53am Fri 2 May 14

NCN2014 says...

Purple2jon wrote:
Richmond 49. should take careful note of the comments posted about this situation when Howardscorton states that a parent may have to be concerned for their child that there may be repercussions if they raise any awkward issues ,which will inevitably affect the child's progress or well being. Just what is going on? Does it not also appear that the LEA are also trying to support a somewhat embarrassing situation that they have found themselves to be in ?
Strange to find that they (the MANAGEMENT) at all levels close ranks so quickly....makes one think that they may have something to hide ?
Of course they're hiding something, it's obvious to any recent former pupil, staff and parents
[quote][p][bold]Purple2jon[/bold] wrote: Richmond 49. should take careful note of the comments posted about this situation when Howardscorton states that a parent may have to be concerned for their child that there may be repercussions if they raise any awkward issues ,which will inevitably affect the child's progress or well being. Just what is going on? Does it not also appear that the LEA are also trying to support a somewhat embarrassing situation that they have found themselves to be in ? Strange to find that they (the MANAGEMENT) at all levels close ranks so quickly....makes one think that they may have something to hide ?[/p][/quote]Of course they're hiding something, it's obvious to any recent former pupil, staff and parents NCN2014
  • Score: -11

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