Exclusive: End of an era as controversial ex-head Greg Martin resigns from Durand

8th September 2017 at 16:49
Former head steps down from chair of governors role at the south London academy. He says it's time to leave following High Court victory over Ofsted

The controversial chair of governors at the centre of a bitter dispute with the Department for Education over his school’s future has resigned from his post.

Sir Greg Martin had held the position at Durand Academy Trust, based in Stockwell, south London, since 2015, after 29 years leading the school.

The academy has been involved in a protracted battle with the DfE over its complex governance arrangements, which culminated in June with a formal notice to terminate its funding agreement next year.

Sir Greg has attracted criticism for earning almost £400,000 a year while headteacher, through a combination of his basic salary, pension contributions, and the leisure centre he operated on the school site.

A draft Ofsted report earlier this year recommended the school be put in special measures, but last month the academy trust won a High Court victory that quashed the judgment because of flaws in the inspectorate’s appeals process.

The ruling could have wider implications. Ofsted today submitted its application to appeal against the High Court ruling.

The DfE's Education Funding Agency (EFA) had previously demanded that Sir Greg resign as chair of governors at the academy trust, and cease to be a director/trustee or hold any other position with it, by 1 August 2016.

But Sir Greg told Tes that his departure was not related to demands from the EFA.

He said: “I have done two years of my time as a governor and after the Ofsted grade victory I thought it was probably time for me to step down and allow others to take up the burden.”

He said he expected the academy trust to continue its battle against the decision to terminate its funding agreement.

According to Companies House documents, Sir Greg resigned as a director of Durand Academy Trust on 31 August, as did executive headteacher Mark McLaughlin, who Sir Greg said had left the school.

Durand said it had not yet appointed a new chair of governors.

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