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Camden New Journal - by DAN CARRIER
Published: 5 April 2007
Row erupts over school’s new head

‘Outrage’ at governors’ decision

GOVERNORS at a highly-rated Hampstead primary school have been accused of being out of touch with the wishes of parents following the appointment of a new headteacher.
Linda Carter, who has been head at Christchurch Primary School in New End for 15 years, is due to retire at Christmas – and this week five school governors met to appoint her successor.
But parents have expressed concern at the failure to promote an internal candidate, who has not been named, to the top job.
Parent Dagmar Davidson said: “The majority of parents and staff are outraged at the way this has been handled.
“Indeed, the governors are so out of touch with the school and parents that they can’t quite believe the consequences of their decision making.”
The Church of England school, with about 190 children on its roll, was rated as outstanding in a recent Ofsted inspectors’ report.
The new headteacher, not yet named publicly, was appointed at a day-long interview last Wednesday.
Governors’ chairman Geoffrey Palmer headed the five-member panel which made the appointment.
They whittled down applications to a shortlist of three before interviewing candidates.
Mr Palmer said: “Because of the nature of the school, it is like a family.
“People know each other well and one or two parents were upset for an internal candidate who did not get the job.”
But he denied the interview process had been flawed.
He said: “The process is set in stone and we followed strict guidelines.”
The interview board included Sarah Conway, head of schools improvement at Camden Council, and Elizabeth Wolverson, from the London Diocese.
Ms Wolverson has been sitting on interview boards for church schools across London for 20 years.
Mr Palmer said: “In a way this issue coming up is a good thing. People want to take part in the school, and people care greatly about it. Some parents may be upset but in some ways that is positive. It means people care.”



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