Headless school seeks to reassure worried parents

Headless school seeks to reassure worried parents


norman lebrecht

November 07, 2011

The Purcell School, whose headmaster left in mid-term, has written to parents assuring them that there is nothing whatsoever to worry about.

Nobody has done anything wrong. The school has just given a wonderful concert. Smile, dear parents. Your higher-than-Eton fee is well invested. Why don’t you join the parents’ council we’re thinking of forming?

Well, that sounds like progress on the former stonewall approach, but I’m not sure that will do the trick. There are all sorts of legalities to observe, but parental concerns continue to find independent expression.



  • RichardG says:

    Copies of a recording of the late night meeting at which the Headmaster made inappropriate remarks to the boys about bullying were circulating freely two years ago but both the national press and the police ignored the disturbing evidence this contained. It has taken all this time for matters to come to a head (no pun intended) but for concerned parents it has been a worrying and a stressful time. The sudden departure of the headmaster leaves so many questions unanswered.

  • Current student says:

    I don’t quite see why this article even exists at all. That the school has written to parents to reassure them is perfectly understandable, in fact I wonder why the school has not done it sooner rather than let the rumours spread within the school, and this is no reason to write a post. I hope no-one will just post isolated facts here in the ‘comments’ section as these are so easily ‘misunderstood’ by the media. A newspaper has already misquoted our excellent acting headmaster Mr Elliott, cutting out the positive parts of his statement, and the facts need to be explained in context. Mr Elliott is under enough pressure as it is, sorting out some of the problems Mr Crook caused while dealing with outraged parents, and the last thing he needs is to have to worry about newspapers ruining his school’s good reputation. The atmosphere within the school is settling down, and with all due respect we do not need Mr Lebrecht dragging the school back into the spotlight and stirring up bad feelings. I agree that it does need an explanation, but not all over the internet – perhaps a letter from the school to parents and prospective parents giving an explanation of exactly what is going on?

  • Past Teacher says:

    I am faintly reassured by Current Teacher’s words elsewhere in this blog that the Governors will eventually address the issues.
    Sadly, I am reminded that they probably won’t, as is also pointed out elsewhere. When the management was caught not paying holiday pay for some six to seven years nobody apologized over a substantial amount of money (a months worth each year!) that hadn’t been paid, even though it was legally due. Nobody spoke to any instrumental teachers to apologize after the affair. The instrumental teachers were probably wrong to have claimed it, was the impression given by the management! That was an important issue resulting in much bad feeling.
    I just don’t know with what confidence you can write ‘I think that what you recommend WILL eventually have to be addressed by the governing body’ when the Governing body has no track record of addressing anything?
    And, what has happened to the petition among the staff at the school to reinstate Mr MacMillan? Will that just disappear?