Inquiry call as Leeds East Academy principal steps down

A LEEDS school has been rocked by the resignation of its principal just a few days into the new term.

Helen Lane’s decision to leave E-ACT Leeds East Academy is understood to have taken colleagues completely by surprise.

Her departure came on the same day as the Seacroft-based school’s chair of governors, Dr Ian Kenvyn, announced he too was stepping down.

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A spokeswoman for E-ACT, the not-for-profit social enterprise that sponsors Leeds East, said it was unaware of any link between the two resignations.

The departures, however, drew a call for answers from Leeds East MP George Mudie.

Mr Mudie said: “I would hope [Leeds City Council] would conduct an investigation as to what has happened at the school and what part, if any, the sponsor has played in Helen Lane’s resignation.”

Ms Lane was in charge at Leeds East Academy when it opened in September last year as a replacement for Parklands Girls’ High School.

E-ACT director general Sir Bruce Liddington said Ms Lane had left Leeds East to “pursue new opportunities”.

Leeds East’s vice principal, Sarah Partridge, has been promoted to head of school following Ms Lane’s resignation.

She will work under a new executive principal – Annette Hall, principal of Rodley’s Leeds West Academy, also sponsored by E-ACT.

Leeds West’s chair of governors, Tom Peryer, will also now act as executive chair of governors at Leeds East.

State schools that become academies receive funding direct from the Government rather than their local council and get greater freedom to set their curriculum, admission criteria and employment policies.

* The names of 34 Yorkshire schools to have installed CCTV cameras in their toilets or changing rooms have been revealed. We publish them in full on our website: