Portslade school updates parents on principal and deputy’s absence

Posted On 16 Oct 2014 at 9:45 am

A Portslade school has sent parents a letter updating them on the absence of the principal and deputy head.

The Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA) posted the letter to parents and carers yesterday (Wednesday 15 October).

PACA principal James Fox remains on leave while an investigation takes place into the registration of pupils at the school.

His deputy Neil Robinson has also been off school. The letter said that his absence was because of illness.

The letter was sent by Zenna Atkins, who chairs the board of governors at PACA and is academies director south east for the school’s sponsor, the Aldridge Foundation.

James Fox

James Fox

The senior deputy head at the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) Peter Marchant has stepped in as executive director of the school in Mile Oak while the investigation takes place.

He is being supported by the head of another Aldridge Foundation school, Brendan Loughran, who runs the Darwen Aldridge Community Academy in Lancashire.

The letter said: “Following our letter to you last month, as a governing body we wanted to update you further on the running of the academy in the continued absence of Mr Fox.

“Above all we want to reassure all parents that PACA continues to run well and that we have benefited enormously from the interim leadership arrangements which have been put in place.

“As you may be aware we have secured the support of Mr Peter Marchant, who is the senior deputy at BACA.

“Mr Marchant has stepped in as executive director of the school and is running the school on a day-to-day basis.

“He is hugely experienced and is adding valuable leadership, direction and guidance to the school and some of you will have met him at our recent open events.

“He is of course still being supported with advice and guidance from Brendan Loughran, the most experienced Aldridge academy principal, and by the senior and middle leaders at PACA, all of whom are working tirelessly to ensure your children continue to receive a very high quality education.

“A number of parents have asked for clarity regarding the nature of the investigation.

“As the investigation is still ongoing I am afraid I cannot yet give you any further details and I can only repeat what has already been said, that the matter under investigation relates to the registration status of a small number of students.

“However I can confirm that it is our intention to bring the investigation to a close at the beginning of November, after which governors will review the findings.

“At the outcome of the investigation, the fullest possible explanation will be given to all parents.

“A number of you have also asked about the absence of Mr Robinson, deputy principal.

“I would like to clarify that Mr Robinson’s absence is due to ill-health and it is hoped he will be well enough to return to work in the near future.

“Thank you again for your ongoing support.”

The school is holding a sixth form open evening at its Chalky Road site this evening (Thursday 16 October) from 6pm to 8pm.

Those attending will have a chance to tour the new building and learn about A level options as well as the Aldridge cricket, dance, football and science academies.

BACA is holding a similar event for prospective year 6 pupils and their families this afternoon from 4pm to 5pm.

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