Feb 24 2015

Welldon Park Junior Head Quits; Parents Blame Council

welldon_park_logoWe take no pleasure in noting that as predicted only three days ago by iharrow, the acting Headteacher of Welldon Park Junior School has tendered his resignation, and has accepted a position of Headteacher at a school in Brent.

In hist letter to children and parents, Mr James Simmons said:

 I am writing to let you know that I will be leaving the school at the end of the spring term with my last day being Friday 27th March. I have accepted the position of Headteacher at Oliver Goldsmith Primary School in Brent. I have had six and a half amazing years at Welldon Park and have enjoyed working with so many children, parents and families in so many different ways over this period of time. 

He doesn’t go on to state his reasons for leaving, but it wouldn’t take a leap of faith to imagine that the council’s recent disdain, shown by over-riding governors’ recommendations against amalgamation, had some part to play in it.

An email seen by iharrow.com, from a parent to Cllr Margaret Davine, local councillor for the ward of Roxeth, which covers the school, lays the blame for this turn of events quite clearly with the council:

I’m a little puzzled by your support, at cabinet last week, to amalgamate the Welldon Park schools.

As you may be aware, both schools, their governing bodies, staff and parents were against the idea of amalgamation, yet you appear to have ignored those views when you, along with the rest of your colleagues on cabinet, voted unanimously to publish statutory notices to move ahead with the plan.

I’m wondering, as you were elected solely to represent those in the ward, why you would possibly ignore the views of those who elected you. Indeed, your ward colleagues have been equally silent on the entire matter.

…given the gross uncertainty that this situation [amalgamation] presents, I consider the council entirely responsible for the loss of a good HT to another borough. We will shortly have two schools with no substantial leadership in place, caused by your council’s ill-thought-out policies, that have effectively sought to destroy everything that governors have worked for there. Thank you very much. I hope you’re delighted as to how this turned out, and the inevitable impact it will have on children – including mine – there.


iharrow.com understands that Cllr Davine has, as expected, failed to respond.

It is nothing short of a travesty that a councillor who is supposed to represent the views of those in her ward, has discarded their views, opinions and fully-researched recommendations. The result is now that an excellent aspiring headteacher, much respected by children and parents alike, has moved onto a new role outside the borough. Brent’s gain is so clearly Harrow’s loss.

We wish James every success in his new role.

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  1. Timeforchange

    This is shameful……according to the council website Cllr Davine will be holding a surgery at Harrow West Labour Centre in Blenheim Road on Saturday 14th March between 10-11am. Alternatively one of the following Councillors Davine/Miles/Patel will be in Roxeth Library each Saturday between 10-12. No appointment necessary.

    If Cllr Davine isn’t responding to emails perhaps meeting her face to face would elicit a response

  2. F.D.Billson

    This high handed behaviour by Labour is hardly a surprise. Once elected they always know better than the people who voted them in. They conveniently forget that they were elected to serve the residents. Its called arrogance !

  3. Kelly

    This is not the first time and will not be the last that a Councillor will bow down to the might of the Council! Harrow Council Legal dept would have had a hand along with others on determining the outcome here, and it is no great surprise that everyone mentioned in the email above to Cllr Davine were ignored. Yet again another shameful episode, one of many to add to Harrow Councils ongoing list of failures!
    I sometimes question why we have Councillors when some obviously cannot be bothered to fulfill their duties properly?

  4. Emma

    This is TERRIBLE. Both my children attend this school, and Mr Simmonds is a fantastic headteacher. The COUNCIL had NO RIGHT to IGNORE residents, and TRAMPLE ALL OVER THEM in this matter.

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