Acclaimed head teacher resigns

St Helens Star: Kirsty Haw Kirsty Haw

A HIGHLY regarded head teacher has resigned from one of the two primary schools she was in charge of after St Helens Council began an investigation into its recruitment procedures.

Executive head Kirsty Haw stepped down from the position at Merton Bank Primary School after concerns were raised over the process that led to her husband, who is also a teacher, being conditionally offered a job there, sources have told the Star.

It is understood he never actually took up a post there.

St Helens Council confirmed an investigation took place and that Mrs Haw has resigned from her role at Merton Bank, as has the school’s chair of governors, Stephen Sykes.

Neither St Helens Council nor the governors would say this week what the results of its investigation were or whether any wrongdoing was found.

Mrs Haw remains in charge of her other primary school, St Mary’s and Thomas Primary School in St Helens, where she has been backed by her employer, the Anglican Archdiocese of Liverpool.

A St Helens Council spokeswoman confirmed she left Merton Bank last month.

She said: “A governance review was undertaken by the council regarding management issues at Merton Bank primary school.

“Both the chair of governors and the head teacher have since resigned. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

The Star put a series of further questions to St Helens Council, which took more than a week to respond, before a statement was issued on Wednesday that read: “In relation to the resignation of the head teacher and the previous chair of governors, which followed the investigation, this is a matter for the governing body who have informed us today that they do not wish to comment at this point.”

Mrs Haw is regarded as one of the country’s leading school heads and was appointed at Merton Bank in June 2008 where she was tasked with addressing the failing school’s “legacy of underachievement”.

She swiftly transformed the school and in 2011 Ofsted returned to rank the school as outstanding.

St Mary and St Thomas’, on Barton Close, also achieved top marks in 2008.

Last year she was made a National Leader in Education to work with schools enduring difficult circumstances and has previously been invited to the House of Lords to discuss how she has turned schools around.

Mrs Haw declined to comment about the reasons for her leaving Merton Bank.

Comments (9)

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2:46pm Fri 28 Feb 14

MrBenggo says...

Nepotism doesn't pay.
Nepotism doesn't pay. MrBenggo
  • Score: 4

9:01pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Gripper_S says...

Investigation leads to resignation of Head and Chair of Governors- presumably for a pretty serious offence, as hinted at in the article. Yet Head has 'safety net' of another Headteacher post in the Borough and can continue in the role. How can there be confidence in this person's professional competence and/or trustworthiness? As a general point, if there is an attempt to 'allocate' public funds to one's own family purse-either through deceit or sheer stupidity, surely this should make it impossible to continue to be in another, similar post which decides how our taxes are spent?
Something smells.
Investigation leads to resignation of Head and Chair of Governors- presumably for a pretty serious offence, as hinted at in the article. Yet Head has 'safety net' of another Headteacher post in the Borough and can continue in the role. How can there be confidence in this person's professional competence and/or trustworthiness? As a general point, if there is an attempt to 'allocate' public funds to one's own family purse-either through deceit or sheer stupidity, surely this should make it impossible to continue to be in another, similar post which decides how our taxes are spent? Something smells. Gripper_S
  • Score: 12

8:03am Sat 1 Mar 14

MrBenggo says...

Gripper,
well said and to the point,all I can think is that the Anglicans hold a lesser feeling what is right and wrong,as her employer at St Mary's and Thomas primary school where she now works.
I have come across nepotism in the past and it is sickening to be not considered for promotion,when you know you have a better understanding of the job,than the nephew of the boss who was given the job and was sacked after three months doing it because he was hopeless at it.
That made up for it.
Gripper, well said and to the point,all I can think is that the Anglicans hold a lesser feeling what is right and wrong,as her employer at St Mary's and Thomas primary school where she now works. I have come across nepotism in the past and it is sickening to be not considered for promotion,when you know you have a better understanding of the job,than the nephew of the boss who was given the job and was sacked after three months doing it because he was hopeless at it. That made up for it. MrBenggo
  • Score: 4

4:37pm Mon 3 Mar 14

Bill Bradbury says...

If that had been a teacher they would have been suspended and sacked or is it that if the alleged offence was in one school they could go and teach in another? I don't think so. Very odd! Seems to me it's a law for one and not the other? The Church never ceases to amaze me.
If that had been a teacher they would have been suspended and sacked or is it that if the alleged offence was in one school they could go and teach in another? I don't think so. Very odd! Seems to me it's a law for one and not the other? The Church never ceases to amaze me. Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 2

9:05am Tue 4 Mar 14

dontlikeitdoyou says...

Ok then we need to shut, Pilkingtons and NGF because they employ relatives first, this goes on in every industry not just politicians and teachers, everyone should be praising the job she had done. Let he who not sinned cast the first stone.
Ok then we need to shut, Pilkingtons and NGF because they employ relatives first, this goes on in every industry not just politicians and teachers, everyone should be praising the job she had done. Let he who not sinned cast the first stone. dontlikeitdoyou
  • Score: -4

1:51pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Bill Bradbury says...

dontlikeitdoyou wrote:
Ok then we need to shut, Pilkingtons and NGF because they employ relatives first, this goes on in every industry not just politicians and teachers, everyone should be praising the job she had done. Let he who not sinned cast the first stone.
So you prefer to agree with the bad practice elsewhere as good enough for our schools, nepotism, favouritism, ageism, sexism etc. etc.
Fortunately there are rules and a process for appointments and Governors are supposed to be traineid in such, questions to ask and those to avoid. I am on one such course next week in Lancashire.

As to Pilkingtons they are not employing anyone these days but making redundancies. Following your argument you would prefer this process to be the old dockers' rule of the hand on the shoulder of who works and who doesn't.
[quote][p][bold]dontlikeitdoyou[/bold] wrote: Ok then we need to shut, Pilkingtons and NGF because they employ relatives first, this goes on in every industry not just politicians and teachers, everyone should be praising the job she had done. Let he who not sinned cast the first stone.[/p][/quote]So you prefer to agree with the bad practice elsewhere as good enough for our schools, nepotism, favouritism, ageism, sexism etc. etc. Fortunately there are rules and a process for appointments and Governors are supposed to be traineid in such, questions to ask and those to avoid. I am on one such course next week in Lancashire. As to Pilkingtons they are not employing anyone these days but making redundancies. Following your argument you would prefer this process to be the old dockers' rule of the hand on the shoulder of who works and who doesn't. Bill Bradbury
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Sankey says...

Whether its her husband or not does not matter following process does
Whether its her husband or not does not matter following process does Sankey
  • Score: 0

3:50pm Wed 26 Mar 14

rollingrock says...

This is the problem when people are given too much power. Rules and processes go out of the window. I think that there are always these people in education who seem to think that they can 'bypass' the system and make their own rules. Clearly this head has pushed for her husband to have a job in this school and tried to influence the process. Shameful. A head should have more respect for the rules in place.
This is the problem when people are given too much power. Rules and processes go out of the window. I think that there are always these people in education who seem to think that they can 'bypass' the system and make their own rules. Clearly this head has pushed for her husband to have a job in this school and tried to influence the process. Shameful. A head should have more respect for the rules in place. rollingrock
  • Score: 2

3:55pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Gripper_S says...

Agreed, rollingrock. And yet she is allowed to continue as the Headteacher of another local school! Unbelievable.
Agreed, rollingrock. And yet she is allowed to continue as the Headteacher of another local school! Unbelievable. Gripper_S
  • Score: 1

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