Littlehampton head refutes claims of maths staff ‘crisis’

Acting principal of The Littlehampton Academy Marianne Gentilli. 'Photo provided by Liquid PR. SUS-140503-085711001
Acting principal of The Littlehampton Academy Marianne Gentilli. 'Photo provided by Liquid PR. SUS-140503-085711001

THE HEAD teacher of a school in Littlehampton has refuted claims her school is ‘in crisis’ after a number of experienced staff quit.

This week, it was revealed to the Gazette that five teachers would be leaving The Littlehampton Academy after half-term.

All the staff are understood to be members of the maths department, with one believed to have up to 18 years of experience.

The revelation prompted fears from a former staff member, who claimed the academy’s mathematics department was now in a dire situation.

However, responding to the concerns, the school’s principal, Marianne Gentilli, said the academy had already launched the hunt for a new wave of experienced staff to replace the out-going teachers.

Ms Gentilli said: “When we re-opened in September, we were fully staffed in all departments, but in a large academy of 122 staff, one does expect people to move.

“One of our maths staff is leaving at half-term for personal reasons, and we do have several others in the department leaving for new posts at Christmas.

“We are advertising all available positions and have already begun interviewing potential candidates. We are taking every means available to ensure the posts are filled as quickly as possible so that students’ studies are not affected.”

The former staff member said: “I think it’s very concerning that this number of staff are leaving.

“I’m concerned it will have a detrimental impact on student attainment.

“There has to be some sort of crisis going on because I know that some of the teachers leaving the school aren’t going straight into another job.”

The academy is part of the Woodard Academies Trust.

Earlier this year, Ofsted placed the school in special measures following an inspection at the end of last year.

However, Ms Gentilli said she was confident the school’s standards would not be badly affected and stressed that all the staff were working extremely hard towards driving up standards at the academy.

She said: “As a school, we are focused on always improving the quality of teaching and learning and after what we believe will be a positive HMI (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate) report next month, we are even more determined to continue with our progress.”