Chair of Richmond School interim board resigns - but remaining members "committed to learning lessons"

DETERMINED: Interim executive board member and commander of Catterick Garrison Colonel Stephen Padgett

DETERMINED: Interim executive board member and commander of Catterick Garrison Colonel Stephen Padgett

First published in News
Last updated
Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Regional Chief Reporter

THE chair of an interim school governing body brought in after the previous governors resigned en-masse has himself stepped down.

Members of the interim executive board (IEB) at Richmond School will meet on Wednesday to discuss their next step following the resignation of chairman Chris Lewis.

IEB members say that despite the resignation they remain committed to learning lessons and helping the school move forward after a period of upheaval.

The IEB was put in place after the previous governing body stepped down shortly after receiving an official warning letter from North Yorkshire County Council.

It has since emerged that the letter was issued after the relationship between the governors and the senior leadership team at the school broke down.

Pete Dwyer, corporate director for children and young people's service at the county council, said Mr Lewis, a former secondary school head, had resigned following the publicity surrounding the fall-out.

He added: “My understanding is that it’s been the level and intensity of challenge to himself and the IEB from the media and elsewhere that’s led him to review the commitment that he’s made.”

The remaining five members will now work with the county council to find a replacement chair.

In an interview with The Northern Echo, IEB member Colonel Stephen Padgett, commander of Catterick Garrison, said members would be speaking to as many people as possible– including the former governors - to identify any issues over governance at the school.

“I am very heartened in the fact that the local authority, when asking the current IEB members to join this board, picked people who bring a range of useful, interesting skills and experience, but also very evidently independent thinkers.”

Col Padgett said that while they would seek as many opinions as possible from stakeholders, they would form their own views on the way forward.

IEB member Philippa Cooper, a former chair of Brompton-on-Swale School governing body who has a child at Richmond School, added that members wanted to gather as much “intelligence” as possible.

“We’re looking at this from a fresh perspective and gathering evidence, while knowing what a good governing body should look like and making sure that’s in place.”

Richmond county councillor Stuart Parsons called for Mr Lewis’ resignation after the former chair asked him to leave a meeting between IEB members and parents.

“While it is always sad to see someone resign, I think this is the right thing for the school,” he said.

Comments (5)

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6:33pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Traser says...

To lose one chair of governors is unfortunate......

To lose two is careless............
..

There must be 'major' problems at this school (no military pun intended)
To lose one chair of governors is unfortunate...... To lose two is careless............ .. There must be 'major' problems at this school (no military pun intended) Traser
  • Score: -16

8:32pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Robert_ says...

There is something very toxic here.........
There is something very toxic here......... Robert_
  • Score: -18

10:22pm Tue 22 Apr 14

Richmond49 says...

Please read what has been stated and do not jump at the opportunity to recommence the bitter and vindictive bullying by the this newspaper and a minority of locals that make me embarrassed to be part of this lovely town.

To quote:
My understanding is that it’s been the level and intensity of challenge to himself and the IEB from the media and elsewhere that’s led him to review the commitment that he’s made.
Please read what has been stated and do not jump at the opportunity to recommence the bitter and vindictive bullying by the this newspaper and a minority of locals that make me embarrassed to be part of this lovely town. To quote: My understanding is that it’s been the level and intensity of challenge to himself and the IEB from the media and elsewhere that’s led him to review the commitment that he’s made. Richmond49
  • Score: 17

12:08pm Wed 23 Apr 14

worriede says...

Richmond49 is in a dream world see past pupils teachers comments and see who is alledgedly doing the bullying. It is about time that the senior management was replaced and a new start for everyone.Why are we reading in the paper that the chair governor has resigned why has parents not been informed and why has the contact details of the governors not been added to the school web site as agreed with governors and head teacher.
Richmond49 is in a dream world see past pupils teachers comments and see who is alledgedly doing the bullying. It is about time that the senior management was replaced and a new start for everyone.Why are we reading in the paper that the chair governor has resigned why has parents not been informed and why has the contact details of the governors not been added to the school web site as agreed with governors and head teacher. worriede
  • Score: -16

3:55pm Wed 23 Apr 14

NCN2014 says...

This just keeps on getting better.... That school is a shambles what they need to do is get a whole new senior management team as the current one are useless an just looking out for themselves and What Stuart Parsons said was correct! We deserve to know what is going on in that shambles of a school!!!
This just keeps on getting better.... That school is a shambles what they need to do is get a whole new senior management team as the current one are useless an just looking out for themselves and What Stuart Parsons said was correct! We deserve to know what is going on in that shambles of a school!!! NCN2014
  • Score: -17

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