Wigan headteacher at centre of dispute

Michelle Brindle was in charge of Golborne St Thomas primary school up to 2015
Michelle Brindle was in charge of Golborne St Thomas primary school up to 2015

A former headteacher of a Wigan primary is at the centre of a school closure storm.

Trafford Council closed Bollin Primary School earlier this week as a dispute about leadership between parents, governors and staff rages on.

The school is under the stewardship of Michelle Brindle, who was in charge of Golborne St Thomas's primary up until last year.

A petition calling for Mrs Brindle to step down has attracted more than 900 signatures and teachers staged a strike last week over concerns about their workloads and leadership.

Footage has also emerged of parents and staff "celebrating" her sacking although the council has indicated she has not been removed from her post.

A council statement: “Trafford Council and the Governors of The Bollin Primary School have agreed to close the school with immediate effect. This decision has not been taken lightly but is necessary to ensure the safe operation of the school in the light of concerns about the reduced capacity of the senior leadership at the school.

"The school will be closed until further notice, although the Council reinforced its priority is to put measures in place so the school can reopen as soon as possible. The Council is also aware of a film that is circulating in relation to the school and is investigating this further.

"Whilst we appreciate this matter will be a disruption to the pupils and family life, it is of the utmost importance to safeguard and protect pupils at the school.

The petition, posted on www.change.org, reads: "We no longer have confidence in the Headteacher, Michelle Louise Brindle, of the Bollin School to lead and manage the school.

"We feel the Headteacher’s style of leadership is detrimental to the staff and as a consequence the children of the school."

Mrs Brindle and her former staff at Golborne St Thomas received praise from the Anglican Church’s equivalent of Ofsted following an inspection in 2015.

The report said: "The exemplary Christian leadership of the headteacher ensures the school’s Christian character has a strong impact on pupils’ academic achievement and spiritual growth.

“It also impacts on the pupils’ excellent personal development and improving school attendance. Pupils are highly motivated, exhibit a love for learning and enjoy being in school.

“This school is an outstanding faith community that is living out its Christian values.”