Primary School in Crisis After Every Single Teacher Quits

A primary school has been thrown into chaos after every single member of staff quit since the beginning of the academic year.

In total 14 teachers, two head teachers and support staff have all left their jobs at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School.

The final seven members of staff will leave today as the summer term ends and many teachers have previously been signed off for stress.

Union representatives claim that leadership at the school led to the mass walk-out.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) have blamed high work loads for the walkout, with one insider saying it made their job ‘impossible’.

However, governors at the school in Kingswood, Bristol, are trying to reassure people that there will be a new set of teaching staff in place for the new academic year in September.

Primary school in crisis after every single teacher quits
Many of the staff have worked there for many years before quitting this year (Picture: SWNS)

After its last Ofsted inspection in November 2013 the school was given a good rating, but in 2016 SATs results were below the standard set by the Department for Education.

Fewer than one in four children achieved the required standard for reading, writing and mathematics.

South Gloucestershire Council, which runs the school, told its leaders it needed to improve.

Parents were told the level of staff sickness was ‘out of control’ by chair of governors Lisa Paniccia-Brown.

Headteacher Clare Murray left and was replaced by Louisa Wilson who was appointed as ‘executive’ head.

Primary school in crisis after every single teacher quits

It was blamed on a new executive head (Picture: SWNS)

‘We had enough’ one teacher, who did not want to be named, said. ‘Many of them were signed off with stress, and the pressure was unreasonable.

‘We were told if we did not follow the head’s methods, we would not be welcome at the school.

‘There have been a number of teachers here who have spent their entire teaching career at Our Lady, it’s become home to them.’

Union reps blamed the new executive head for the high stress levels and one newly qualified teacher, left the school after just six months.

Grades are slowly beginning to improve under the new leadership, with 77 per cent of pupils passing their SATs this year.

Primary school in crisis after every single teacher quits
Union reps said many staff were signed off sick for stress (Picture: SWNS)

‘Our Lady of Lourdes has experienced a lot of change over the past year, but we are pleased that thanks to a lot of hard work, the school and its pupils are in a strong position for the future,’ a South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said.

They added: ‘The school is rightly proud of the pupils’ achievements and the teachers and other staff have all worked extremely hard to make these improvements.

‘At the same time, there has also been a significant transition of staff during the school year, with some staff choosing to leave mid-year.

‘As vacancies have arisen, staff have been recruited to temporary contracts in order to provide continuity for the children.

‘It is not appropriate to discuss individual members of staff, but we note that among those departing are teachers taking up substantive and senior roles in other schools and we wish them well.

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