Chair of governors resigns amid claims of ‘toxic’ school environment

By Jacob Phillips, local democracy reporter

The chair of governors at a school has resigned amid claims of a “toxic” environment.

Anne-Marie Carrie, the former chief executive of Barnado’s children’s charity, has stood down from her position at Holland Park school.

It is understood Carrie stood down just two days after over 100 former students signed an open letter to governors over the academy’s failings.

It is not known publicly why Carrie resigned and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing by her.

The Local Safeguarding Children Partnership (LSCP), which monitors child welfare in Kensington and Chelsea, will review the school over the next six months after staff and students complained about accusations of bullying.

Representatives from the school, the council, police and health services would also be involved in the review.

The school is deemed “outstanding” by Ofsted and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi is a former pupil.

Allegations of bullying and misconduct came into the public eye when 26 former teachers wrote to the school’s governing board about how they were treated.

Nine of the signatories in the letters claimed they had to be signed off work with stress, depression or anxiety.

Parents received a letter on August 4 from Carrie about the staff allegations. It read: “Whilst it would appear that many of the complaints have already been considered by our regulatory bodies … we take all such allegations seriously.

“To provide assurance and create a forum for these matters to be independently considered, the board has taken immediate steps to commission an independent, external review which will report back next term.”

Anne-Marie Carrie and Holland Park School were both contacted for comment.



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