Sudden exodus of free school head in Rugby

Janet Downs's picture
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Parents in the dark contacted local paper for information

When pupils returned to Rugby Free Primary School (RFPS) on 5 September, parents found the headteacher, Susan Milewski, was no longer there. 

Parents, in the dark about the head’s sudden departure, contacted the Rugby Advertiser  for any information the paper might have.

The Advertiser says a letter was circulated to parents on 21 September.  I couldn’t find it on the school’s website.    The most recent news, dated 3 September, concerns parking.    A newsletter, dated 28 September, contained no reference to Milewski’s exodus.  

LinkedIn page says departed head still leads the school

The letter seen by the Advertiser told parents that Milewski had ‘enjoyed her time’ at RFPS but was planning ‘to take time out of headship to pursue professional study’.  But her Linkedin page still says she is headteacher.  

Inspectors said former head led with ‘passion and purpose’

RFPS, which opened in September 2015 was judged good in May.  Inspectors said ‘The headteacher leads with passion and purpose’ and was determined to move RFPS to outstanding.

Trust had policy not to ‘comment externally on HR matters’

When asked why RFPS hadn’t let parents know about Milewski’s departure, Brenda Mullen, CEO of Learning Today Leading Tomorrow (LTLT)*, the multi-academy trust which runs RFPS and Rugby Free Secondary School, told the Advertiser that an update had been given to parents ‘when we have been able’.

Our policy as a trust is not to comment externally on HR matters as we believe all our staff, current and past are entitled to privacy,’ the CEO said.

While it’s true that staff are entitled to privacy, that doesn’t extend to keeping parents totally in the dark.  Parents should not be so uninformed they have to contact a local paper for information.

Trust had deficit of £64k at end of August 2017

LTLT had a deficit of £64,000, trust accounts** for year ending 31 August 2017 show.    According to the accounts, the freehold land and building for RFPS were ‘purchased by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and donated to Learning Today Leading Tomorrow for £2,875,00.  Refurbishment cost £2,062,000 and was completed on 2 August 2015.’  But this completed work does not appear on the list of capital funding for free schools which was supposedly updated in July (downloadable here ).

 

 *formerly Knowledge Schools Trust, not to be confused with Toby Young’s Knowledge Schools Trust

**Available from Companies House

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