Acland Burghley governors express ‘disapointment’ as headteacher quits days after appointment

17:00 14 May 2014

From left to right: Cllr Angela Mason, Dr John Clarke, Pete Dudley and Martin Pratt discuss the future of Acland Burghley School. Picture: Polly Hancock.

From left to right: Cllr Angela Mason, Dr John Clarke, Pete Dudley and Martin Pratt discuss the future of Acland Burghley School. Picture: Polly Hancock.


The new headteacher of a secondary school slammed by Ofsted inspectors last year has stepped down from the top job just days after his appointment.

Governors chose Paul Guenault to be Acland Burghley School’s new headteacher – but just one week after he accepted the offer, the newly appointed head walked away from the post following “discussions with his family”.

The former leader of Highgate Wood School in Crouch End was to replace Jo Armitage, who stepped down in January after Acland Burghley School was told to improve by Ofsted inspectors last October.

Sue Higgins, headteacher of all-girls Parliament Hill School in Highgate Road, was brought in to act as an executive headteacher at both schools in March.

Dr John Clark, chairman of governors at Acland Burghley, in Tufnell Park, said: “The governors were disappointed not to make an appointment but we are clear that it was better for the school that the decision was made at this stage.

“It would have been very disruptive if this had been the outcome at a later date when the person was in post.”

Mr Guenault, who was made the founding headteacher of Wapping High School academy in 2012, was due to start in his new job in September at the beginning of the next academic year.

The school, in Burghley Road, had been heavily criticised by Ofsted inspectors following a report last year for its “scruffy” staff members, bad behaviour among pupils, slow progress of students and high number of exclusions.

The school was also downgraded from “good” to “requires improvement” – one grade up from the lowest Ofsted rank.

Dr Clark reassured parents last week in the school bulletin that the governors are “confident that the school is now moving in the right direction with improving behaviour for learning and teaching for impact”.

Following Mr Guenault’s resignation, the governors will consider keeping Ms Higgins on as executive headteacher of both Parliament Hill and Acland Burghley.

Dr Clark said: “Governors are exploring a number of ways forward including the continuation of the successful partnership with Parliament Hill School.

“Governors hope to be able to say more to parents in the coming week.”

He added that he wished Mr Guenault the best for the future.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 15:47
Khayerul Miah, pictured, and his brother have joined IS in Syria

The Camden school where two Islamic State (IS) recruits were pupils has released a statement to parents.

Yesterday, 15:13
Police cordoned off the pavement outside the Vodafone store in Finchley Road

The pavement outside a parade of shops on Finchley Road has been cordoned off after knife raiders threatened staff at a branch of Vodafone and made off with thousands of pounds worth of mobile phones.

Yesterday, 17:00
Traders and Highgate Neighbourhood Forum members Jane Wiles, Rachel Allison, Louise Lewis, Allan Rapley and Emine Gokturk  launch Highgate's first live advent calendar. Picture: Nigel Sutton

For adults and children, the suspense of waiting each day to find out what is underneath the window of your advent calendar is one of the joys of the Christmas season.

Yesterday, 14:39
Save Autism Services Haringey protesters outside Haringey Civic Centre in Wood Green. Photo: Martin Ball

Families of vulnerable adults believe that dementia and autism services can still be saved – if council tax is increased.

Yesterday, 13:19
Carl Ryan, who is charged with misconduct in a public office, outside court (Picture: Central News)

A Camden-based detective accused of hampering investigations into six sex cases made a female colleague feel “uncomfortable, alienated and isolated”, a court heard.

Yesterday, 12:42
Patrick Fitzgerald Shaw

A woman who was subjected to repeated violent rapes by a man who threatened to kill her and post sexual images of her online has spoken out to encourage other rape victims to come forward.

Yesterday, 11:49
The Friends of Parkland Walk has released its own set of Christmas cards, all using images of the leafy nature reserve

These tranquil, snowy scenes look as if they were photographed in the depths of the countryside, rather than in the middle of a capital city.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder