Parent-governor fights suspension

Alfie Kay, six, from Standish who has special educational needs and disabilities, with parents Diane and David and brother Laurie, four
Alfie Kay, six, from Standish who has special educational needs and disabilities, with parents Diane and David and brother Laurie, four
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A SCHOOL parent-governor has been banned in a bitter row about her alleged bad behaviour at meetings.

The board at Wood Fold Primary in Standish stunned mum Diane Kay when they announced a six-month suspension penalty: The maximum allowed under the system.

It told her that the decision to bar her was agreed by a majority vote at the 12-strong body after external educationalist Brian McNutt had been paid £2,200 to carry out a probe.

Mrs Kay whose sons, six-year-old Laurie and nine-year-old Alfie, are pupils at the Green Lane school, continues to receive governors’ agendas and reports. But she can’t attend or take part in decision-making.

The Department for Education is now investigating her suspension.

Mrs Kay, of Rudyard Avenue, Standish, has been officially suspended because she “acted in a way that is inconsistent with the ethos of the school”.

And she is also accused of “having brought, or is likely to bring” the school or the governing body or the office of governor into disrepute.

But Mrs Kay, 44, who is bound by a confidentiality clause against speaking publicly about the matter, is said to refute strongly the claims against her of wrongdoing.

However the angry father of the charity campaigner for disabled child care - Alfie was born with cerebral palsy - said she is being victimised for speaking out “honestly and fairly” about how the school is governed and operates.

Dad Norman Guy, of Wrightington, said that Mrs Kay’s criticism at meetings that the board of governors wasn’t performing its functions properly, was justified.

And her warnings that the school needed to improve or face potentially damaging criticism were intended to help the school avoid possible censure.

The disciplinary probe into Mrs Kay’s behaviour states that the majority of governors believed Mrs Kay had breached the Code of Conduct with “discourteous, rude and unprofessional” responses to other governors, claiming they were “intimidated” by her manner and style.

Mr Guy said: “Diane was suspended for six months, the harshest penalty that can be given, but for reasons only known to the headteacher and the board of governors, because the parents of Wood Fold are not being advised of the decision, despite Diane asking for this to be made public.

“It is all very trivial and it is clear that Diane upset her governor colleagues by asking too many questions and arguing her point.”

Headteacher Gill Lloyd said the school - rated Oustanding by education watchdog Ofsted - and its governing body had acted in accordance with regulations.

She said that as the Department for Education was currently investigating the matter, she couldn’t comment further. However its internal practices were regularly audited by the council and had “always been found to be in order”.