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Head absent since angry meeting

A primary school headteacher in South Glamorgan has been on sick leave since a hostile annual meeting of parents and governors at which serious concern was expressed about a highly critical inspectors' report, writes Michael Prestage.

Criticism of Elfan Jones, head at Ysgol Bro Eirwg primary school, a Welsh medium school in Rumney, Cardiff, was heightened because of the pay increases he has received in the past three years, totalling nearly Pounds 8,000. The latest in April saw his salary rise to Pounds 32,754 - making him the highest-paid primary head in the county.

Mr Jones, 51, head of the 400-pupil school for 13 years, is suffering from high blood pressure and will be off work for a month. He has denied rumours that he is about to resign, but declines to comment further. A spokesman for South Glamorgan said the head and governors were called to a meeting as soon as the report was received. He added: "We are now working actively with the school and the governors to produce an action plan."

Inspectors from the Office of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector in Wales said the school needed to improve standards of reading and writing. They said it "does not provide value for money" in terms of the standards reached and its "leadership is ineffective to secure appropriate expectations and standards". But behaviour and attendance were good and children had a healthy attitude to learning. The homely ethos, breadth curriculum, nursery standards and progress of pupils with special needs also met with approval.

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