Pressure on Nonsuch High School, Sutton, to explain headteacher's departure
One of the country’s leading state-funded schools is under mounting pressure to explain the departure of its headteacher.
Nonsuch High School headteacher Karin Rowsell was on “indefinite special leave”, departing the school before the Easter holidays.
Rumours circulated as parents remained in the dark over Mrs Rowsell’s absence as pupils returned to school this week after the break.
The school – which is funded by the government – confirmed yesterday Mrs Rowsell would not be returning to the school but would not say why.
Deputy headteacher Tracey Hartley would not say if she left for personal or professional reasons.
A school spokesman said: “Karin Rowsell will be leaving Nonsuch with effect from August 31. She will not be returning to work before leaving and will be on leave during this period.”
The board of governors, that oversees the running of the school, has also not commented on her departure.
The selective school became an academy in September last year, meaning it is independent and no longer accountable to Sutton Council, the local education authority, for its decisions.
A council source said a lack of accountability over events at schools was a clear concern for the local authority, when a syndicate of Sutton secondary schools took the decision to become academies last year.
Kate Daly, of Sutton NUT, agreed and said: “It is the concern of the NUT, and other unions, that here is an example of the lack of transparency we were expecting from schools over their actions after they became academies."
She said schools were publicly funded and should be open to public scrutiny.
She said: "We did warn teachers and headteachers at schools that experience has shown that the first jobs to go when a school becomes an academy is the headteacher.
"It appears at Nonsuch this may have been the case."
Mrs Rowsell became headteacher at the school in September 2009.
The school was named in the top 25 performing state-funded schools in 2011.