19 November 2019

The parental response to Richard Dunne's resignation

First published in an A4T newsletter dated: Tuesday 19 Nov 2019:

"We were all devastated to see Mr Dunne’s letter of resignation, and the issues it brought to light.

We are acutely aware of the sorrow and anger expressed so eloquently by so many people over the course of the last 24 hours.

As you know, we had our meeting with the Trust yesterday evening and, following his resignation, we also spoke to Mr Dunne.

Just to be clear on the timing of what happened over the past 48 hours: Mr Dunne sent a resignation letter to the Trust on Sunday evening. He sent it to the school at lunchtime yesterday. Mr Dunne’s resignation was accepted by the Trust.

We understand that Mr Dunne wanted the news to be shared with staff in their post-school staff meeting yesterday, but this did not happen.  We are not sure why, but we can only assume the Trust blocked the resignation letter from being shared.

The resignation letter (which was also addressed to parents and children) was posted on the Ashley Parents’ Facebook group late yesterday afternoon.

Why has Mr Dunne been forced to resign?

The information we have received about what has been happening over the last few months has led us to the conclusion that Mr Dunne has acted in the best interests of the children and Ashley school. Certainly, we have yet to see any evidence to the contrary (and we absolutely do not expect anything to materialise).

From our understanding, the allegations about Mr Dunne’s “performance, regarding procedures and practices” should have been resolvable without his removal from the school.

We have not seen the specific details, but from what we understand any suggestion the allegations are serious does not stand up to scrutiny.

As you know from his letter, Mr Dunne strongly rejects all the allegations against him.

When we spoke to Mr Dunne, he told us he is extremely grateful for all the support he and his family have received. He also very much wants the parents to remain actively involved in challenging the GST and the Governors going forward and in the best interests of the school.

We hope and expect he will continue to be a significant part of our community as things develop."

GST statement on Mr Dunne's departure

At 10.15am on Tuesday 19 November, the GST issued the following statement:

"The Good Shepherd Trust can confirm that Mr Richard Dunne has resigned from his post as Co-Headteacher at Ashley Church of England Primary School. He left the employment of the Trust on 17th November 2019.

We would like to thank Richard for his contribution over the last 18 years and wish him well for the future.

The Trust would like to thank pupils, parents and carers for their continuing support for Ashley Church of England Primary School and its staff team.

We will write to all parents and carers again in due course to provide an update on plans for the school going forward."