THE Basildon Academies is now the second top performing school in town - but its headteacher has been gagged from speaking about it.

The secondary school, which is currently in special measures and teaches across two sites in Timberlog Close and Wickford Avenue in Pitsea, has just received a glowing monitoring report from Ofsted after the first one in March slammed the state of the school and the governing body for having a “flawed vision” and “no educational expertise”.

Headteacher Dr Rory Fox unexpectedly announced his resignation last month.

The report said: “As a result of the principal’s clear vision and strong leadership, inadequate teaching has been largely eliminated as a result of good teaching and professional development, or where teachers have proved unable to improve, robust action to remove them was taken.”

Dr Fox is believed to have resigned after a row with the school’s sponsor and governors when they wanted to increase the number of teaching hours at the school, which the headteacher disagreed with.

Dr Fox, who took over the troubled school in September 2011, told the Echo he was no longer allowed to speak to us but would not say why.

It is believed the sanction has been put in place by Les Livermore, the chairman of the governors, who has so far refused a face to face interview with the Echo.

Although the official GCSE figures are not available from Essex County Council until the new year - De La Salle School in Ghyllgrove, Basildon got the best GCSE results in the town with 53 per cent followed by the Basildon Academies which got 45 per cent A to C pass rate including English and maths.

Responding by email only, Mr Livermore said: “Governing bodies will be judged upon their results. In the summer of 2012 the Academy achieved a 45 per cent rate and with the exception of a faith school is now the top performing school in Basildon , having now overtaken the Woodlands and James Hornsby Schools.

"Stability in staffing is important and the loss of any good member of staff is always disappointing but the board of governors is realistic and fully accepts that senior leadership teams will evolve over time and it is incumbent that body to seek replacements who will work closely with the governing body to ensure that the impressive rises in attainment, attendance and behaviour are sustained and improved.”

Mr Livermore refused to comment on if he had put the sanction in place to prevent Dr Fox from speaking to the press and Martin Finegold, the school sponsor was not available for comment.