Yorkshire school still hasn't replaced disgruntled board of governers after they all resigned

A Yorkshire school which had its entire board of governors walk out has still not replaced them.

On September 13, South Bank Multi Academy Trust (MAT) released a statement on Scarcroft Primary School saying a governor, believed to be Coun Jonny Crawshaw, had “breached the code of conduct.” This led to the rest of the school’s governors resigning.

A new statement from the MAT confirms it is yet to replace the disgruntled governors.

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A spokesperson said: “We are in the process of determining the governance arrangements for Scarcroft Primary School. We will ensure that parents at the school are communicated with as soon any decision regarding the governing body is ratified by the trustees.”

Scarcroft Primary SchoolScarcroft Primary School
Scarcroft Primary School

In the original statement, Ian Wiggins, chair of trustees at South Bank MAT, said: “Regrettably, over an extended period of time, we saw behaviours from a governor at Scarcroft Primary School which fell well below the expectations and standards set out in our code of conduct.

“Trustees met with this governor, who has since taken the decision to resign along with a number of other members of the governing body. The former governors have made a number of allegations within their resignation letters which do not reflect the reality in Scarcroft or in any school within the trust.”

Coun Crawshaw believed this was due to concerns he raised about new teaching assistant contracts which would only see them paid during term time.

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He said: “During my conduct hearing I had to ask twice if trustees were interested in the content of the complaint before I was asked to expand on the issue. Once explained, the vice chair of trustees appeared to understand why this would be of significant concern – and yet no further action appears to have been taken.

“For this alleged breach of the code to subsequently be upheld against me suggests the trust board is either unconcerned by these behaviours or is also querying my integrity.”

One governor, John Bryan, wrote in his resignation letter: “The final straw has been the appalling treatment by the MAT of a fellow governor. Due process has not been followed and the MAT’s behaviour appears frankly to be vindictive and high-handed. I have never met with such a lack of proper procedure in over 40 years of working in education.

“This is not the type of organisation any self-respecting person would wish to serve, and contrasts markedly with the way in which Scarcroft School itself operates, which is friendly, child-centred, humane and sensitive to every individual child’s needs.”

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Another governor Tracey Barrett said: “The final straw for me has been the appalling treatment of Jonny Crawshaw, a long-serving and committed governor who was summoned to a conduct hearing without any proper due process or notice.”

Coun Bob Webb, executive member for education, said at the time: “What we’ve got is a multi-academy trust which has taken over the governance of some schools and that’s happening across the Country. But what’s not happening across the Country is entire governing bodies resigning.”

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