‘I did not resign’ says former St Ivo head

Mark Patterson.

Mark Patterson. - Credit: Archant

Former St Ivo headteacher Mark Patterson claims he did not resign from the school.

In November, Mr Patterson left St Ivo with immediate effect after spending little more than a year at the school. Initially the school fell silent, fuelling rumours that Mr Patterson was forced out of the role by its governors.

However as pressure grew from a parents’ group, started as a Facebook group called ‘Bring back Mr Patterson or give us some ANSWERS’ and renamed Voices for Change at St Ivo School, then chairman of governors Sue Campbell broke the silence and announced, as she stepped down from the role, that Mr Patterson resigned his headship.

On Monday, Mr Patterson wrote to The Hunts Post to deny the fact he handed in his resignation, but says he is still bound by a confidentiality clause and cannot disclose the ins and outs of his departure.

He did, however, call on the school to agree to remove the clause to reveal the circumstances of his own departure from the school.

Mr Patterson wrote: “Firstly, I did not ‘resign’ from my position as headteacher. That was not part of the statement that was agreed. Saying I resigned is a misrepresentation of what happened.

“I am deeply saddened that I am no longer head at a school with the two key ingredients to be outstanding: great students and great staff. I also hate to leave a job partially completed – the school still has a long way to go to get to outstanding.”

Most Read

He says governors made inaccurate statements about his departure, including to Conservative MP for Huntingdon Jonathan Djanogly, who repeated what he had been told in a letter to parents of children at the school.

Mr Djanogly, speaking to The Hunts Post yesterday (Tuesday), said: “That’s what I was told by more than one governor. Whether it’s right or wrong, I cannot say.”

Mr Patterson added: “I can confirm, without hesitation, that there was no financial mismanagement or impropriety whatsoever. I can also confirm that the governing body is not privy to any information that would embarrass or discredit me should it be made public. I remain proud of my professional record and personal integrity.”

Adrian Smith, of Voices for Change, said: “While Mr Patterson is clearly still honouring his agreement with the school, it’s obvious that he did not want to go. He was incredibly passionate about the school, its pupils, its staff and its future. So he was either pushed or the lead governors made his position untenable – which amounts to the same thing. This was many parents’ worst fear.”

The school has not yet replied to a request for comment from The Hunts Post.

Next Wednesday the school’s governors are holding a question and answer session, however the press is being excluded from the meeting.