Trinity Catholic School in Leamington replaces headteacher and governors amid 'considerable' budgetary pressures

Considerable budgetary pressures have lead to Trinity Catholic School's headmaster and board of governors being replaced.

Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 2:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th September 2018, 2:13 pm
Trinity Catholic School in Leamington

The Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC), Christine Quinn, has removed the governing board at the secondary school in Guys Cliffe Avenue and replaced it with an interim executive board (IEB), which is expected to be in place for around a year.

The decision has been made to help the school respond effectively to budgetary pressures.

The RSC has also made a temporary change to the school’s leadership, with Jon Shires now acting principal in place of Chris Gabbett.

In making its decision, the RSC raised concerns the governing body has been unable to respond effectively to considerable budgetary pressures.

The key focus was the management of the school revenue budget over an extended period, resulting in an unaffordable cost structure and a large and growing budget deficit.

Christopher Snelson, former Chair of Governors at Trinity Catholic School, said: “The school has been impacted by significant change since 2009, including a sharp decline in pupil numbers, the withdrawal of the discretionary bus subsidy and increased competition from existing and new schools.

“The governing board has ensured Trinity has a clear vision, ethos and strategic direction and has consistently held the principal to account for educational performance. We have never shirked our responsibilities and have always been robust in challenging the impact of all decisions made.

“Doing more with less, and doing it better with less resource, is a major challenge and we have worked hard to ensure every child's educational experience and opportunity to perform has not been diminished because of financial pressures.

“GCSE results have been on an upward trajectory since 2015 and if Trinity had not been well led or well governed, it is very unlikely it would have achieved its 'good' Ofsted outcome in 2017.

“As governors, we accept we have not been able to remove the deficit in an appropriate timescale. However, we have overseen a significant reduction in the school's deficit over the last three years and ensured it spends its budget wisely.

“We have been assiduous in trying to raise standards to make Trinity a more attractive option and clearly, increased student numbers would have a positive impact on the school’s finances.

“We are justifiably proud of current achievements and attainment given the recent and current climate. Despite the constraints, we see no reason why Trinity cannot become an outstanding school and we would have welcomed an opportunity to play our part in that ambition.

“We would like to offer our full support to the senior leadership team, the interim executive board, and all staff in the challenges ahead.”