Education Secretary Michael Gove vows to get to bottom of missing Perry Wood head mystery in Worcester

Malvern Gazette: QUESTIONS: Our political reporter Tom Edwards quizzes Education Secretary Michael Gove QUESTIONS: Our political reporter Tom Edwards quizzes Education Secretary Michael Gove

YOUR Worcester News has taken parents’ questions over a ‘missing’ primary school headteacher to the heart of government.

Yesterday, Education Secretary Michael Gove vowed to help parents who are demanding answers over the absence of Ange Beddow from Perry Wood Primary School.

The minister admitted his shock over the situation – which has seen popular head Mrs Beddow be away from the school since early December – and vowed he would try to sort out the stand-off and get answers for parents.

He also praised your Worcester News for bringing the saga to his attention, saying he is “absolutely” going to get answers.

The school is run by the Griffin Schools Trust, which has not commented on the situation, saying only that Mrs Beddow remains in her role.

However, worried parents have been contacting this newspaper to try to find out where she is, claiming the school has told them nothing.

Worcestershire County Council has also refused to get involved, saying that because it is an academy the school runs its own affairs, and both the school and the trust have rejected pleas for answers.

When we asked Mr Gove if he would help parents find out what’s going on, he said: “Yes, absolutely we will. I didn’t know this had been going on at all and I am very grateful to you for bringing it to my attention. Absolutely, we will investigate it to find out what’s happened.”

After Mr Gove’s visit, your Worcester News again contacted both Perry Wood Primary School and the Griffin Schools Trust, who both declined to comment.

Mrs Beddow said she would not be commenting on the situation.

Meanwhile, as part of his visit to Worcester yesterday, where he toured a new £311,000 science block at Bishop Perowne Performing Arts College, Mr Gove also vowed that the county will finally get better Government funding.

He said: “There will be more money for schools in Worcestershire, you will see a difference and that will be before the general election. It’s been poorly funded in the past, that unfairness has been going on for too long and we’ve got to take steps to address that, that will happen.

“Part of the problem has been that the funding formula is a very complex issue, but we are determined to change this and make it fairer so areas like Worcester and Worcestershire benefit.”

During his stop, which also included a visit to Gorse Hill Primary, he praised Worcester MP Robin Walker for his campaigning on fairer funding.

He also said schools in the county can be proud of “getting better and better” in recent years, saying the education improvements have impressed him.

The Government is taking steps to change the existing school funding formula, which currently places Worcestershire 145th out of 151 local authorities nationally for cash.

Comments (10)

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11:07am Sat 11 Jan 14

brooksider says...

Obviously no one in Government is overseeing the conduct and practices of Academy Schools and their Trusts.
It seems parents have no clear process to follow if they have concerns over the running of their children's schools.
Obviously no one in Government is overseeing the conduct and practices of Academy Schools and their Trusts. It seems parents have no clear process to follow if they have concerns over the running of their children's schools. brooksider
  • Score: 17

11:50am Sat 11 Jan 14

green49 says...

What do you expect? this bumbling idiot Gove is making a real mess of it all, just wait and see.
What do you expect? this bumbling idiot Gove is making a real mess of it all, just wait and see. green49
  • Score: 18

12:47pm Sat 11 Jan 14

CommonSenseFriends says...

Its good to hear that the funding formula is going to be changed as it has led to huge bias towards other local authorities. Hopefully the increased funding will ensure better teaching as well as better facilities for the next generation.

BIGGUP BISHOP PEROWNE!!!
Its good to hear that the funding formula is going to be changed as it has led to huge bias towards other local authorities. Hopefully the increased funding will ensure better teaching as well as better facilities for the next generation. BIGGUP BISHOP PEROWNE!!! CommonSenseFriends
  • Score: 4

6:30pm Sat 11 Jan 14

jb says...

This really reflects poorly on the school and the trust that runs it , poor communication and ignoring parents concerns must have severely affected the parents trust in the school. It only helps to add to any gossip or assumptions that are being made, If the head is off through sickness or suspension then why not say? Just goes to show the lack of accountability once a school becomes an academy.
This really reflects poorly on the school and the trust that runs it , poor communication and ignoring parents concerns must have severely affected the parents trust in the school. It only helps to add to any gossip or assumptions that are being made, If the head is off through sickness or suspension then why not say? Just goes to show the lack of accountability once a school becomes an academy. jb
  • Score: 21

10:58am Sun 12 Jan 14

WorcsBornandBred says...

Shouldn't this have been actioned weeks ago!?
Shouldn't this have been actioned weeks ago!? WorcsBornandBred
  • Score: 2

12:02pm Sun 12 Jan 14

F1 Dave says...

This is what you get when central Government, take over the running of your local services.
Right now Worcestershire County Council has emailed all remaining school that have not gone to Academy. For a consultation to see if 1. They would like to find their own Academy provider or 2. Worcestershire County Council will find one for them. (That’s NOT consultation WCC).
Yes that right the option to stay with the County Council is not on the table, There is only about 15-20% of school that have gone over to Academy and there is a 98% of buy back of services from the school that are left. The Council covers all cost to provide the services to the schools, No extra cost to the Tax payer.
Right now the leadership at Worcestershire County Council is outsourcing this function, YES that’s right not getting rid of part of the council that cost the Tax payer, but bits that have no cost.
The Councillors will be voting for the outsourcing of all Schools in the next few weeks.
Shame on you elected Councillors’ you have and are letting down your people, the people who voted for YOU to do the very best for Worcestershire.
You are at best letting down the people but the most shame full thing you are doing is playing with our Children education. The system works, yep always can do better!
But what Gove and you are doing will leave Children education messed up for the rest of there lives. No Going back on that, no good saying we got it wrong.
I call upon Worcestershire County Council to stop playing Politics with our Children. Stand up your Local people. Keep Schools, Say No to Gove!
This is what you get when central Government, take over the running of your local services. Right now Worcestershire County Council has emailed all remaining school that have not gone to Academy. For a consultation to see if 1. They would like to find their own Academy provider or 2. Worcestershire County Council will find one for them. (That’s NOT consultation WCC). Yes that right the option to stay with the County Council is not on the table, There is only about 15-20% of school that have gone over to Academy and there is a 98% of buy back of services from the school that are left. The Council covers all cost to provide the services to the schools, No extra cost to the Tax payer. Right now the leadership at Worcestershire County Council is outsourcing this function, YES that’s right not getting rid of part of the council that cost the Tax payer, but bits that have no cost. The Councillors will be voting for the outsourcing of all Schools in the next few weeks. Shame on you elected Councillors’ you have and are letting down your people, the people who voted for YOU to do the very best for Worcestershire. You are at best letting down the people but the most shame full thing you are doing is playing with our Children education. The system works, yep always can do better! But what Gove and you are doing will leave Children education messed up for the rest of there lives. No Going back on that, no good saying we got it wrong. I call upon Worcestershire County Council to stop playing Politics with our Children. Stand up your Local people. Keep Schools, Say No to Gove! F1 Dave
  • Score: 12

6:56pm Sun 12 Jan 14

brooksider says...

F1 Dave wrote:
This is what you get when central Government, take over the running of your local services.
Right now Worcestershire County Council has emailed all remaining school that have not gone to Academy. For a consultation to see if 1. They would like to find their own Academy provider or 2. Worcestershire County Council will find one for them. (That’s NOT consultation WCC).
Yes that right the option to stay with the County Council is not on the table, There is only about 15-20% of school that have gone over to Academy and there is a 98% of buy back of services from the school that are left. The Council covers all cost to provide the services to the schools, No extra cost to the Tax payer.
Right now the leadership at Worcestershire County Council is outsourcing this function, YES that’s right not getting rid of part of the council that cost the Tax payer, but bits that have no cost.
The Councillors will be voting for the outsourcing of all Schools in the next few weeks.
Shame on you elected Councillors’ you have and are letting down your people, the people who voted for YOU to do the very best for Worcestershire.
You are at best letting down the people but the most shame full thing you are doing is playing with our Children education. The system works, yep always can do better!
But what Gove and you are doing will leave Children education messed up for the rest of there lives. No Going back on that, no good saying we got it wrong.
I call upon Worcestershire County Council to stop playing Politics with our Children. Stand up your Local people. Keep Schools, Say No to Gove!
There is no doubt that the Worcestershire Council Leadership, Hardman Campion, Geraghty, Eyre et al are putting political dogma before the interests of Worcestershire children.
Peter McDonald caught them out, accusing them of rail-roading schools into becoming academies, Campion went on record to deny it.

The fiasco at this small school in Worcester puts paid to the Coalition's lie about Acadamies being accountable to parents.
[quote][p][bold]F1 Dave[/bold] wrote: This is what you get when central Government, take over the running of your local services. Right now Worcestershire County Council has emailed all remaining school that have not gone to Academy. For a consultation to see if 1. They would like to find their own Academy provider or 2. Worcestershire County Council will find one for them. (That’s NOT consultation WCC). Yes that right the option to stay with the County Council is not on the table, There is only about 15-20% of school that have gone over to Academy and there is a 98% of buy back of services from the school that are left. The Council covers all cost to provide the services to the schools, No extra cost to the Tax payer. Right now the leadership at Worcestershire County Council is outsourcing this function, YES that’s right not getting rid of part of the council that cost the Tax payer, but bits that have no cost. The Councillors will be voting for the outsourcing of all Schools in the next few weeks. Shame on you elected Councillors’ you have and are letting down your people, the people who voted for YOU to do the very best for Worcestershire. You are at best letting down the people but the most shame full thing you are doing is playing with our Children education. The system works, yep always can do better! But what Gove and you are doing will leave Children education messed up for the rest of there lives. No Going back on that, no good saying we got it wrong. I call upon Worcestershire County Council to stop playing Politics with our Children. Stand up your Local people. Keep Schools, Say No to Gove![/p][/quote]There is no doubt that the Worcestershire Council Leadership, Hardman Campion, Geraghty, Eyre et al are putting political dogma before the interests of Worcestershire children. Peter McDonald caught them out, accusing them of rail-roading schools into becoming academies, Campion went on record to deny it. The fiasco at this small school in Worcester puts paid to the Coalition's lie about Acadamies being accountable to parents. brooksider
  • Score: 8

11:27pm Sun 12 Jan 14

lollylouby says...

I've always though of hate as a strong word, but I really do hate this man and what his crazy ideas are doing to this countries education system.
As a primary teacher I was unable to continue under the pressure he was placing on schools- had it have been for the benefit of the children it would have been easier to cope with but things were, and are continuing to worsen. I have chosen to be a supply teacher recently and everyday I go into schools I can see the trail of destruction this government is leaving behind. Children in year 1 being told their best is not good enough because they need to reach x sublevel by the end of the academic year. Everyday I see teachers falling apart because THEIR best is not good enough now either. No, there is no excuse for poor teaching but the pressure this government is putting on even the best teachers is nothing but torture. In schools which I have been in which have already converted the problems seem to be magnified, they have yet another layer of management to add to the mixture (the academy sponsor). No body understands what is expected of them as goal posts are constantly moved. The pressure from above filters down and unltimatly ends with the children. I dread to think what pressure the head of this school is under but i can only imagine the stress she is under. The trust has no excuse for not making some sort of comment on her behalf, but we really should leave her alone to deal with whatever problems she is facing rather than turning this into a witch hunt. For those parents who are actually genuinly concerned about her- I applaud your humanity and understanding of what a great job she is doing x
I've always though of hate as a strong word, but I really do hate this man and what his crazy ideas are doing to this countries education system. As a primary teacher I was unable to continue under the pressure he was placing on schools- had it have been for the benefit of the children it would have been easier to cope with but things were, and are continuing to worsen. I have chosen to be a supply teacher recently and everyday I go into schools I can see the trail of destruction this government is leaving behind. Children in year 1 being told their best is not good enough because they need to reach x sublevel by the end of the academic year. Everyday I see teachers falling apart because THEIR best is not good enough now either. No, there is no excuse for poor teaching but the pressure this government is putting on even the best teachers is nothing but torture. In schools which I have been in which have already converted the problems seem to be magnified, they have yet another layer of management to add to the mixture (the academy sponsor). No body understands what is expected of them as goal posts are constantly moved. The pressure from above filters down and unltimatly ends with the children. I dread to think what pressure the head of this school is under but i can only imagine the stress she is under. The trust has no excuse for not making some sort of comment on her behalf, but we really should leave her alone to deal with whatever problems she is facing rather than turning this into a witch hunt. For those parents who are actually genuinly concerned about her- I applaud your humanity and understanding of what a great job she is doing x lollylouby
  • Score: 8

11:29pm Sun 12 Jan 14

lollylouby says...

Sorry about the typos its difficult to type in a rush on this old phone!
Sorry about the typos its difficult to type in a rush on this old phone! lollylouby
  • Score: 1

9:32pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Advent1307 says...

The school is ripe for change, bring in a new head teacher is my view. Ange is a nice lady, positive minded (in public) and pleasant, but the task to hand needs humility and steely determination..... its not just about leadership, its about management.. one of these has been missing for some time is what most of the parents in the playground would say.

Best wishes to her though
The school is ripe for change, bring in a new head teacher is my view. Ange is a nice lady, positive minded (in public) and pleasant, but the task to hand needs humility and steely determination..... its not just about leadership, its about management.. one of these has been missing for some time is what most of the parents in the playground would say. Best wishes to her though Advent1307
  • Score: 0

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