Head of troubled school resigns

Laura Bagshaw THE headteacher of a Roman Catholic school put on special measures last year has resigned. Peter Cleary left his post at St Mary's RC Primary School in Gorleston after almost eight years in the role.

Laura Bagshaw

THE headteacher of a Roman Catholic school put on special measures last year has resigned.

Peter Cleary left his post at St Mary's RC Primary School in Gorleston after almost eight years in the role.

Mr Cleary had been leading the school through a difficult period after Ofsted rated it “inadequate” in a report published last year.


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Inspectors from the education watchdog placed the school on special measures and criticised the standard of education and those in charge for not doing more to improve it.

The school, on East Anglian Way, was also ticked off for not having up-to-date child protection and, at the time, Mr Cleary was quick to reassure parents that police checks had been carried out on all members of staff and wrote to parents apologising for the “oversight”.

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While it is understood that the school is making progress, the county council confirmed the departure of the school's headteacher.

Kate Gooding, spokeswoman for Norfolk County Council, said: “It was a decision agreed by both Mr Cleary, Norfolk County Council and the Roman Catholic Diocese and was felt to be in the best interests of both the school and its pupils.

“Mr Cleary has given many years of dedicated service to the school and has worked extremely hard to try to bring about improvements at St Mary's. We will be working with him to make the best use of his experience and teaching skills elsewhere in the county.”

Paul George, headteacher of St Augustine's Catholic Primary School in Norwich, will become acting head at St Mary's for the time being.

The deputy headteacher at St Augustine's will become its acting head.

During his time at the school, Mr Cleary took part in a British Council sponsored trip to Malawi, learning about the difficulties in education in one of the world's poorest countries.

He also oversaw the opening of a new £200,000 nursery in 2005 and a £6,000 play area in August 2006.

A farewell mass for Mr Cleary will take place next Friday at 6pm at St Peters Church and a reception will be held in the school hall afterwards.

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