YOUR Worcester News has taken parents’ questions over a ‘missing’ primary school headteacher to the heart of government.
Yesterday, Education Secretary Michael Gove vowed to help parents who are demanding answers over the absence of Ange Beddow from Perry Wood Primary School.
The minister admitted his shock over the situation – which has seen popular head Mrs Beddow be away from the school since early December – and vowed he would try to sort out the stand-off and get answers for parents.
He also praised your Worcester News for bringing the saga to his attention, saying he is “absolutely” going to get answers.
The school is run by the Griffin Schools Trust, which has not commented on the situation, saying only that Mrs Beddow remains in her role.
However, worried parents have been contacting this newspaper to try to find out where she is, claiming the school has told them nothing.
Worcestershire County Council has also refused to get involved, saying that because it is an academy the school runs its own affairs, and both the school and the trust have rejected pleas for answers.
When we asked Mr Gove if he would help parents find out what’s going on, he said: “Yes, absolutely we will. I didn’t know this had been going on at all and I am very grateful to you for bringing it to my attention. Absolutely, we will investigate it to find out what’s happened.”
After Mr Gove’s visit, your Worcester News again contacted both Perry Wood Primary School and the Griffin Schools Trust, who both declined to comment.
Mrs Beddow said she would not be commenting on the situation.
Meanwhile, as part of his visit to Worcester yesterday, where he toured a new £311,000 science block at Bishop Perowne Performing Arts College, Mr Gove also vowed that the county will finally get better Government funding.
He said: “There will be more money for schools in Worcestershire, you will see a difference and that will be before the general election. It’s been poorly funded in the past, that unfairness has been going on for too long and we’ve got to take steps to address that, that will happen.
“Part of the problem has been that the funding formula is a very complex issue, but we are determined to change this and make it fairer so areas like Worcester and Worcestershire benefit.”
During his stop, which also included a visit to Gorse Hill Primary, he praised Worcester MP Robin Walker for his campaigning on fairer funding.
He also said schools in the county can be proud of “getting better and better” in recent years, saying the education improvements have impressed him.
The Government is taking steps to change the existing school funding formula, which currently places Worcestershire 145th out of 151 local authorities nationally for cash.