'Superhead' from primary schools in Kilburn racks up £1,300 expenses in TEN days
PUBLISHED: 10:23 17 September 2015 | UPDATED: 10:23 17 September 2015
A 'superhead' from two primaries in Kilburn who was hired to oversee a controversial school merger racked up more than £1,300 in travel expenses in just 10 days.
Before the council had approved the merger, Torriano Infant School in Kentish Town paid an agency £600 a day for 10 days – totalling £6,000 – to hire executive headteacher Juliette Jackson as a consultant on the proposed merger of the infant school with the junior school next door.
During that time, she amassed £1,373.50 in travel and taxi expenses, a Freedom of Information Act request has revealed.
Mrs Jackson is regarded as one of Camden’s best school leaders, having transformed St Eugene De Mazenod Catholic Primary School in Mazenod Avenue, Kilburn, from “cause for concern” to “outstanding” as its headteacher.
She is also the headteacher of St Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Quex Road.
The revelation has incensed a contingent of parents and former staff who have fiercely opposed the merger, which was approved at a council meeting on Thursday.
Phyllis Johnson, whose three children attend the newly unified Torriano Primary School, said: “It’s an absolute shock. That money has come from our kids. Mrs Jackson was only in the school building a handful of times.”
The 27-year-old added: “I have no words. To cost £600 a day and on top of that to have a £1,300 taxi bill is absolutely disgusting.”
Brenda Smith, a former teaching assistant at Torriano Infant School, echoed her concerns and said: “It’s an outrage, and I’m just disgusted by it. Where does that money come from? Is it from the children’s learning?”
A Camden Council spokeswoman said: “Payment, including travel expenses, was made by Torriano Infant School to a National Support School in Camden for a temporary consultative head teacher during the months of May, June and July 2015.
“Mrs Jackson provided valuable strategic advice and assistance during a complicated school merger where additional external expertise was required. She received only a proportion of the daily rate paid to the National Support School.”