Bishop gives backing to primary head ousted by Ofsted

The Bishop of Southwark has publicly praised the outgoing headmaster of Parish Church junior school, who retired following a controversial Ofsted report which downgraded the school’s rating from “outstanding” to “inadequate”.

Bishop of Southwark, Christopher Chessun: Parish Church School is "wonderful", he said

Bishop of Southwark, Christopher Chessun: Parish Church School is “wonderful”, he said

Bishop Christopher Chessun was the guest of honour on Tuesday at the the opening of an extension to the Parish Church Schools, an event which turned into a celebration of the work and career of David Morgan, the junior school’s former head.

In his blessing, the bishop described Parish Church as “a wonderful school”.

Colin Boswell, the Vicar of Croydon, joined the bishop on the podium and pointedly singled out Morgan as being “rightfully in his place” as a head teacher who had given “dedicated and faithful service over 12 years”.

The bishop referred to the need for all to pull together as a community in this time of challenge, while Boswell talked of how the joy of the new building was combined with the sorrow of the entirely unexpected Ofsted report. It was a lesson in the travails of the realities of life, Boswell said.

The vicar said the school was seeking to let its children be developed to their greatest ability.

This contrasts starkly with the Ofsted findings that the school had an “extremely over-generous evaluation of its own performance”.

Ofsted reports that downgrade schools – as the parents and staff at Oval and Roke primaries and Archbishop Lanfranc will attest – are often a tactic of the Department of Education to prepare the way for public-funded assets to be transferred into the control of privately run academies (although this process is much more difficult in the case of church schools).

Following his retirement, Morgan has been the subject of an evensong service in his honour at Croydon Minster. On Tuesday, he was met with rapturous applause as he came to the lectern to give a Bible reading.

Teacher Jeff Scott told the audience of pupils, parents, local dignitaries and building contractors seated in the bright new school hall that for the children, the visit of Morgan was as good as having One Direction coming to the school.

The Junior and Infants schools now have the chance to prove their worth in an expanded school with improved facilities including a new dining hall and classrooms that offer a spectacular view over Croydon that was noted in one of the prayers of a Year 6 pupil.


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