08 January 2021

Karola Zakrzewska's resignation statement

Karola Zakrzewska
Earlier this week Karola Zakrzewska resigned as a parent governor of Ashley CofE Primary School. We weren't told why. 

I wrote to Ms Zakrzewska and asked if she would issue a statement for publication as to the reasons behind her resignation. 

She sent me the following:

"I resigned from my role as parent member of the Local Governing Committee at Ashley School on Sunday 3 January 2021 for two main reasons: 

1. The new Head Teacher: 

I couldn’t stand by the decision to appoint the new Head Teacher that was announced on 4 January 2021.  

The following processes were not followed: 

a. No LGC member was part of the hiring process for Mrs Ratcliff. For previous candidates interviewed for the role, a member of the LGC was included in those interviews. And as per the Scheme Of Delegation, there should have been a member of the LGC as “a representative on the appointment panel”. 

b. The LGC was told that the new incoming Chair would meet with Mrs Ratcliff following which a decision to proceed would be made. The incoming Chair didn’t meet with the new Head Teacher before the decision was made to proceed. 

As far as I am aware, this is the first appointment that has been made where a representative member of the LGC has not been on the interview panel for a member of the Senior Leadership Team at Ashley School. 

I felt the LGC was misled and that being a part of the process and giving the LGC the right to question the appointment was taken away from us. 

Fundamentally, I don’t think the new appointment is good for Ashley School or our children.  

We are an Outstanding school and considering the unrest that the school has gone through in the past 18 months, we needed a Head Teacher with no baggage. Unfortunately that is not the case here.   

2. Open/Closed LGC meetings: 

The GST decided in the summer of 2020 that our LGC meetings needed to be “closed”, meaning parents couldn’t attend Part 1 (Part 2 of the meetings were always closed due to confidentiality). 

This decision came shortly after the LGC decided for our meetings to remain open. 

This decision was done behind the backs of the LGC and although the LGC asked for information on how this decision was reached, nothing was provided.  

Ashley needs as much transparency as possible and I felt that closing these meetings sends the wrong message to the Ashley parent community. 

I am disappointed I didn’t last longer than 6 months in the role. I wish I could have done more. But the situation became untenable, and I felt remaining in the role would have meant that I was complicit in decisions that I felt were not right for the school. 

I wish the LGC the best of luck over the weeks and months ahead. They are fighting hard in the background to ask very difficult questions.  They can’t talk about much/any of it so we are lucky they are there. Hopefully soon the GST will start to appreciate the viewpoint they bring and the effort that is involved in being a member."

More on Ms Ratcliff's appointment here

UPDATE: The GST has responded to Ms Zakrezewska's statement here.

If you want to read more about this story, please click on the timeline on this website.


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