Educating Greater Manchester’s Drew Povey quits as headteacher after suspension

Educating Greater Manchester star Drew Povey has quit his role as headteacher at Harrop Fold School.

Mr Povey shot to fame on the Channel 4 documentary but has since left the job following an investigation.

Harrop Fold School is being investigated over "off-rolling" allegations, where children were removed from the register to make the school appear like it was achieving better than it was in reality.

Mr Povey, who has worked at the school since 2010, was suspended on July 13 with three other senior members of staff, according to Manchester Evening News.

The reality star has maintained his innocence and shared his resignation letter on Twitter in view of his followers.

He wrote: "It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing to tender my resignation as executive head of Harrop Fold School with immediate effect.

"As you are aware, there is an investigation under way.

"Despite the alleged need for swift action to be taken earlier in the year, the investigation process itself has been allowed to drag on, causing damage to the reputation of the school and to me personally.

"Parents and pupils are unsettled, and the media are speculating as to what has gone on that is so serious to warrant my suspension and that of three other members of staff.

"To date, I have still not yet been presented with the full details of the allegations that are being made, but I understand that the investigation is apparently focused on administrative errors involving a very small number of pupils.

"I, and the school, cooperated fully with the initial investigation and once identified, immediate steps were taken to ensure such errors could not be repeated. We had thought that this was the end of the matter.

"As I understand it, the administrative errors involve how attendance, exclusions and home schooling are recorded.

"The number of pupils involved is approximately five in 2018 (2/3 EHE, 2 attendance) and three in both 2017 and 2016. This represents approximately 0.5pc of our total student population.

"As the leader of Harrop, I will always take full responsibility for what happens in school and for the work of the team.

"However, my overall feeling is that Salford City Council are determined to pursue me personally, with the end goal of removing me as executive head.

"They appear to have assumed guilt on my part from the outset, and have brought significant pressure on you and the governing body to accede to their demands, failing which an interim executive board will be immediately instigated.

Understandably, you have been keen to avoid this, if at all possible.

"I am at a loss to understand the 'heavy handed' approach adopted by the council, which appears to have completely ignored the best interests of the students, staff and school.

"The protracted nature of the investigative process has created a level of uncertainty that was already having a detrimental impact at the end of the summer term, with the school even having to close one day because of the level of disruption.

"I cannot sit back whilst this continues, particularly given the progress we have made as a school and within the community.

"Rather than allow further damage to be caused, with the ongoing uncertainty and delay, I have taken the decision to step down."

In response to his resignation letter, Councillor and lead member for children’s and young people’s services Lisa Stone said: ""I am disappointed that Mr Povey has made public some details of a confidential governor’s investigation.

"The council completely refutes the allegation that this is a personal vendetta or that Mr Povey was ever offered money to 'walk away'. In my experience governors do not launch investigations and suspend senior members of staff for mere administrative errors.

"This is an in depth and wide-ranging investigation into many serious allegations and it will continue in the interests of the school, pupils, parents and the members of staff who remain suspended.

"The governing body is trying to reach a conclusion as quickly as possible. It is in no-one’s interests to rush through something so serious.

"The council has arranged temporary leadership support for the school during this difficult period."

Harrop Fold went from being named one of England's worst schools in 2004 to rated "good" by Ofsted since Mr Povey arrived at the school.

While he has resigned, Mr Povey has offered to work at the school for free.

Acting headteacher Damian Owen was appointed to start in the autumn.

The fly-on-the-wall series returned to our television screens on Tuesday for a second series, which was filmed in 2018.

Educating Greater Manchester continues on Channel 4 on Tuesday at 9.15pm

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