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Wednesday, 01 July 2015

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Acting head announced for Barrow school in special measures - former head quits

THE principal of a beleaguered Barrow secondary school has quit his job because of a “health issue”.

LOOKING FORWARD New acting principal of Furness Academy, Kevin Gill, left, with chairman of the governors Ted Creighton

Des Herlihy was appointed as interim principal of Furness Academy in June 2013 following the suspension of the-then principal Douglas Blackledge.

Mr Blackledge’s suspension came after the academy fell into special measures when Ofsted judged it to be inadequate.

Specialist education consultancy Northern Education secured Mr Herlihy’s appointment after being contracted by the academy.

Mr Herlihy had retired as head of Royton and Crompton School in Oldham before taking up the role at Furness Academy.

He led his former school to national recognition for rapid improvement, becoming the third most improved school in the country.

Mr Herlihy was then appointed as the new executive principal in February 2014 after Mr Blackledge resigned.

Earlier this month, Ofsted expressed concern about financial management and the impact of redundancies at the school, and says it found low staff morale during its latest monitoring visit.

Mr Herlihy’s appointment as executive principal of the Park Drive school was due to continue until July 2015 but he has now resigned, having left the academy yesterday citing a “health issue” as the reason.

In a statement released to the Evening Mail last night, he said: “I have been managing a health issue and I have decided to step away from my role.

“We have made a lot of progress at Furness Academy in the last year.

“I would like to thank senior staff, teaching and support staff, governors, sponsors, colleagues from Northern Education, students and parents for their support. I wish everyone all the best for the future.”

The academy was created in 2009 in a bid to tackle falling pupil numbers and raise achievements in Barrow. Three schools – Parkview, Thorncliffe and Alfred Barrow – were closed to make way.

The Furness Academy governors have appointed Kevin Gill as the acting principal. Mr Gill was the vice principal of the academy.

Have your say

How about some better teachers please?! Poor management, poor leadership for far too long. Academic failure, redundancies, low staff morale, millions of pounds worth of wasted public funding, special measures still. What a mess! No wonder student numbers are down.

Posted by Anon on 11 August 2014 at 02:38

Sue you are correct.Low moral is the result of poor leadership and a failure to lead by example.Couple this with staff who have not had the moral fibre to speak out and you now have this sorry state of affairs.The staff must join together and speak out as to what the failings are or have been.

Posted by The Old Troop Sarge on 14 July 2014 at 14:10

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