RADICAL action is being taken to try to turn around a troubled school, the Echo can reveal.
Futures Community College in Southchurch Boulevard, Southend, has appointed a new head, replaced its entire governing body and could also get rid of several staff.
Stuart Reynolds, formerly of the King John School, in Thundersley, and James Hornsby High School, in Laindon, has replaced Stephen Capper, after he resigned following an Ofsted report, which rated the school inadequate and not improving.
Dr Paul Hayman, headteacher of Westcliff High School for Girls, has also offered his support to turn it around.
It has also emerged the entire board of governors has been replaced with an Interim Executive Board – a temporary management team allowed to oversee a school in exceptional circumstances.
One school source said: “There are a number of teachers off sick – a lot of it is stress. I heard it was 15 in one day recently. I’ve even heard some of the learning support staff are taking lessons.”
Debbie Doogan-Turner, Eastern regional organiser for Unison, which represents teaching support staff, said staff had been put at risk of redundancy. She said: “We’re providing support to staff, some of whom have been at the school, often in challenging circumstances, for 20 years.
“We’ve not had much contact so far and we’re disappointed at how the school has handled this.”
She said it is believed there would be six redundancies and members of staff were being asked to reduce their hours.
A parent of a child at the school, who did not wish to be named, said: “There are real problems. There are no governors and there is a problem with discipline.”
Stuart Reynolds, the new headteacher, said: “This school is committed to all students achieving the best of their ability.
As part of ongoing changes, we are consulting on the structure for both support staff and teachers until the end of this month.
“Once responses have been received, the Interim Executive Board will meet to debate the next steps.”
Do you have a child at the school, post your comment below or call the newsroom on 01702 321151.