A PRIMARY school in Halesowen that has lost most of its teaching staff and had its governing body removed remains ‘in a strong position’ ahead of the next school year, insist education chiefs.

The News reported in January how parents of children at St Margaret’s C of E Primary in Hasbury had launched petitions demanding the removal of the school’s head teacher and chief governors.

Bullying, safeguarding concerns, staff departures and the ‘decimation’ of the school library were among the reasons given for the launch of the petition.

The head teacher, Ms Sara Shepherd, remains in charge but an interim education board (IEB) has replaced the previous governing body at the behest of Dudley Council.

The council says a ‘robust, strategic team’ is in place to lead the school in September but parents remain concerned after the departure of almost an entire teaching team over the past year.

One parent told the News: “The school is in a sorry state. Several children have been transferred by their parents to other schools because of the big bullying issue there. It’s very sad.”

Another parent added: “There’s only one teacher remaining from a year ago.

“My child only has one year left at the school so I have to grin and bear it as it would be unfair to take him out now. I feel sorry for the ones left who will be there longer.”

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children's services said: “Following concerns and repeated requests from parents to address perceived management issues in the school, a meeting was arranged earlier this year between parents, the council and the Worcester Diocesan Board of Education.

“The council and the diocese organised mentoring support for the head teacher. Following further requests for change from the parents the governing board was replaced by an interim executive board (IEB) which will be supported by current parent governors and the local vicar to support the senior leadership team.

“This new board will help to bring cohesion to the school and its community with the vision to take the school forward after this challenging period.

“We are extremely grateful to the former governors and chair in particular for their dedication to the school.

“The introduction of the IEB brings new expertise and allow faster decision making and is not a reflection of the skills, knowledge and commitment of the previous governing board, whose dedication over the years is much valued.

“While several members of staff have moved on as is typical in the profession, the school is in a really strong position for September 2019.

“After a thorough recruitment process, there is now a robust, strategic team in place for the autumn term, including additional staff in the senior leadership team.

“Working alongside the IEB they will help fulfil the school’s ambition to make St Margaret’s of Hasbury the best it can possibly be”

Director of Education at the Diocese of Worcester, Margaret James, added: “We support the strengthening of the Governance team and are represented on the new governing board.

“I recognise this has been a difficult year for the school but hope that this is the start of a time of stability which will enable the children at St Margaret’s to flourish.”