Head cleared of incompetence

1st July 2005 at 01:00
A headteacher whose lessons were said to be among the poorest a local authority adviser had seen has been cleared of serious professional incompetence.

England's General Teaching Council said that David Scully's workload at a small Doncaster primary left him little time away from the classroom to manage the school.

It heard that he took control of Womersley Church of England primary after a lengthy period of turmoil for the school: it had had eight headteachers in five years. The council said limited administrative support and a difficult relationship with the governors had contributed to Mr Scully's problems. The chair and vice-chair of the governors removed their children from the school while he was head.

Mr Scully, a teacher for more than 25 years who now teaches ICT and science in Doncaster to pupils with challenging behaviour, faced two allegations of incompetence.

The GTC heard that he became head of the 22-pupil school in September 2000.

By the time he resigned in 2004, after an extended period of sick leave, there were only 15 pupils on the roll at Womersley.

North Yorkshire council offered him a series of support measures and targets after a performance review in September 2001 but a year later officials believed the school had serious weaknesses.

Mr Scully told last week's GTC hearing in Birmingham that the support he had received had been sufficient, but he was simply unable to act upon it.

Between April 2003 and March 2004, his lessons were observed six times by council advisers as part of a formal competence procedure and were judged unsatisfactory. Heather Goodchild, senior adviser, said: "In my vast amount of experience they were two of the poorest lessons I had ever seen."

The GTC did not consider Mr Scully incompetent.

But charges that he planned lessons poorly, set unclear learning objectives, provided insufficient challenge for pupils who made inadequate progress and showed a lack of pace and differentiation in lessons, were all proved.

Mr Scully was also found to have failed to be an effective leader and manager of the school.

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