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Head of School and Head of Care offered to step aside to save TNS

Emails forwarded to us by Bill Colley

4th November 2018 - 3 days before he was suspended:


As you will appreciate, this is yet another difficult situation which probably exposes quite lucidly the problems that the school has faced over the last 18 months. In other words, it comes as no surprise to me. It confirms my analysis of the problems that arose in February.

There has been no wrongdoing and no unprofessional conduct. Everyone is safe. The school is happier and more confident now than it has been for some time. We are yet again the victim of political pressures because we do not conform to the ‘mainstream’ dogma.

As a quick fix, and because I am now as tainted as Chris was before me, I propose that I step aside and that WG insert an interim Head of School – there is one floating around. Angie also steps aside and we replace her as Head of Care on an interim basis. This, I think will aid the registration process. I have business interests that could keep me occupied but Angie would need a role because she is well-loved and respected in the school.

When I took on the role in April I was fully aware of the potential for reputational damage and the tough job that would ensue. You do not need to worry about me and my personal status because the issues we face are political and have nothing to do with education and care. The situation needs to be managed with that in mind, and with a business outlook.

I would welcome your thoughts.

Same day:

I will do what is necessary. I do not think that anyone connected with the school would react well were I to trigger the ejector seat, but equally, I know that we are facing an onslaught from ES/CI and of course P&K. I have already indicated to Jude (Witherslack) in the past that, were I to be seen as ‘toxic’, she should consider my position and aim to organise an exit plan.

The behaviour of these organisations is not what one would normally expect. Nor what would be considered reasonable and proportionate. I am convinced that they are hell-bent on destroying the school and that they perceive me as a threat because a) I am successful, and b) I challenge them – not through emotion but through logic.

I spoke to [the police officer conducting the investigation] on Friday. He was extremely grateful for all that the school had done and indicated his sorrow that the investigation had been triggered in the first place. I detected that he had little time for the P&K officers who were present on Monday and understood that their aim was to do as much damage to the school as possible.

In ordinary circumstances, and in any other school, the matter would have closed on Friday (2nd November) – which is what [police officer] was expecting.

As things stand;

  • The note sent to me by [staff member] was interpreted (by Angie and myself) as a concern about professional practice and had nothing to do with child protection.

  • [Staff member] has confirmed that this was her intention.

  • There is no evidence of any wrongdoing.

  • The level of evidence gathered by the police is higher than that which could be obtained by any other body.

  • We have been asked to prove a negative – i.e. that something has not happened.

  • [Care inspector] declined to tell me what that proof might be.

  • As Head of School with a conflict of interest, I have gone out of my way to distance myself from the investigation.

  • I have made no decisions relating to this case in which a conflict could be demonstrated or implied.

You will probably be aware that the CEO of P&K was Head of the Care Inspectorate until June.

The school has behaved with dignity and in a very professional manner. Not so others involved. It is a dirty business.


PS Thank you for your support

Bill Colley