Educating Greater Manchester: Love for ‘legend’ ex-head

TV head who resigned amid off-rolling scandal is praised for 'on-rolling' students excluded from other schools
4th November 2020, 6:58pm

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Educating Greater Manchester: Love for ‘legend’ ex-head

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archive/educating-greater-manchester-love-legend-ex-head
Educating Greater Manchester: Former Headteacher Drew Povey, Who Resigned In An 'off-rolling' Scandal, Has Been Praised After Appearing In The Tv Show Again

A high-profile former headteacher who quit his job after being accused of off-rolling has received wide support following his appearance in the latest series of Educating Greater Manchester.

The Channel 4 reality show, which started a new series last night and is on again tonight, is understood to be a "harrowing" watch for Drew Povey, the former head of Harrop Fold School, in Salford.

The show was filmed during a time when investigations into off-rolling were taking place, after which he was suspended.

Mr Povey stated at the time of his resignation that there was never any deliberate off-rolling, which is defined as the removal of a pupil from a school roll when this is done without a formal exclusion and is in the interests of the school and not the pupil. He said that administrative "errors" had led to students being wrongly coded as off-roll, and claimed he had been the victim of a "personal vendetta". 

However, this was disputed by Salford City Council, which carried out the "confidential" investigation.

Despite the controversy surrounding his departure, the reaction towards Mr Povey following last night's show was broadly positive on social media, and some parents chose to pay tribute to the former head.

Tammy Povey (no relation), the mother of a Year 10 student, Holly, who opens up on tonight's programme about her "giggle incontinence" in which she wets herself if she laughs too much, told Tes: "He was amazing. He on-rolled a lot of bad kids from the bottom of the barrel which other schools had excluded."


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Another parent, Melanie Richardson said: "He was doing an amazing job, so it shouldn't even come into account, this 'off-rolling'."

Educating Greater Manchester: Mr Povey 'is a real inspiration'

The programme airing tonight is the second episode in the current series. 

The first episode, broadcast last night, received plenty of reaction on Twitter. Some tweets alluded to the off-rolling accusations, but many more were positive.

One Year 5 teacher in Nottinghamshire, tweeted: "Mr Povey is a legend, a real inspiration #EducatingGreaterManchester".

Mr Povey is a legend, a real inspiration #EducatingGreaterManchester

- Mr B (@MrB_RH) November 3, 2020

Ty Goddard, chair of EdTech UK, attracted dozens of likes when he tweeted that Povey and his team were "superb". He said: "Loved it tonight - fabulous stories. #ThankYou".

Tonight - with superb @drewpovey and team. #EducatingGreaterManchester#Manchester pic.twitter.com/7m39KaZY6u

- Ty Goddard (@ty_goddard) November 3, 2020

In tonight's episode, Mr Povey says: "Mental health and emotional issues are becoming a bigger set of challenges."

Five students are given therapy pets to keep them calm in lessons, including Kaitlyn, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She takes a border collie with her to lessons, and Paige, who has anxiety attacks after her dad's cancer, takes a chinchilla to lessons.

Meanwhile, a new Year 8 student from Kolkata observes that children do things "they wouldn't dare do in India" before revealing that she was hit by a teacher in her last school in India for being late to class, after which her father took her out of the school.

Educating Greater Manchester is on Channel 4 tonight at 9pm.

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