Brent Council officially announce departure of headteacher of troubled school in Wembley

Graeme Plunkett will pursue other career opportunities

Graeme Plunkett will pursue other career opportunities - Credit: Archant

Graeme Plunkett will leave Copland Community School ‘to pursue other career opportunities’

Education chiefs have officially announced the headteacher of a troubled school is to leave his post – two weeks after the Times exclusively revealed he was to step down.

Brent Council has released a statement today saying Graeme Plunkett will leave Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, at the end of the term ‘to pursue other career opportunities’.

Mr Plunkett, who took up the role in September 2010 after spending nine years at a school in Cornwall, said in the statement: “I would like to thank the parents, staff and governors for all their support and trust during the past three years.

“Above all, though, I would like to pay tribute to the students: Copland students are fantastic, praised by all who meet them, and I wish them all well for the future.”

The statement also said Brent Council ‘recognises’ Mr Plunkett’s work ‘rebuilding the school’s sense of community following a period of turbulence’ and ‘coping with the government’s cancellation of the school’s rebuild under the Building Schools for The Future scheme’.

It also added that he was leaving the school in a stronger position than it was when he joined.

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In May the school was placed in special measures following a damning report by Ofsted.

Among the criticisms outlined by the education watchdog was the state of the school building which it said provided an “unacceptable environment for learning.”

At the time, Copland was the only local authority controlled secondary school in the borough but within weeks it was announced it would be converted to an academy.

The news sparked outrage from furious teachers who have taken industrial action twice since the plans were announced.

In the latest strike last week, teachers and supporters dumped an effigy of Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, in a dustbin outside the council’s new £90m civic centre in Engineer’s Way, Wembley.

The school was rocked by a scandal in 2009 after a whistleblower claimed senior members of staff were paying themselves illegal bonuses amounting to £2.7m.

The allegations resulted in the then head teacher quitting and his deputy being fired.

The pair, alongside four other staff members were subsequently charged with fraud.

They deny the claims and will face trial in September.