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Staff seek resignation of head teacher at Leicester primary school


Staff at a city primary school have launched a formal complaint against the head teacher and governing body.

They have demanded education bosses at Leicester City Council request the resignation of Tim Luckcock, head of Uplands Junior school, in Highfields, and chairman of governors, Abid Matak, due to an "irretrievable breakdown in the relationship with staff".

The collective grievance, which states it is from the staff at Uplands Junior School, was sent to the council 10 days ago.

The school, which has about 480 pupils, was rated "good" by Ofsted last year, with leadership and management also classed as "good".

One member of staff, who did not wish to be named, said: "We're still waiting for the council to come back to us, but we hope action will be taken soon to sort out this appalling situation."

The grievance states it follows a vote of no confidence on March 14 against both men by the whole staff.

The eight-page document alleges Mr Luckcock, who joined the school as executive head teacher in September 2011, often arrives late, missing all or part of Monday morning briefings and that there are further "unexplained absences" which they believe have not been recorded properly or approved by governors.

It claims his "intimidatory and confrontational behaviour" towards some children has raised concerns about his style of behaviour management.

The grievance also alleges it was six weeks into the new academic year before Mr Luckcock met with the new intake, meaning some year three pupils did not know who he was.

According to the grievance, Mr Luckcock preferred to delegate tasks and "confined himself to his office" refusing to engage with parents.

His manner was also claimed to be "aggressive and ill-mannered".

The grievance further alleges at times Mr Luckcock had expressed a desire to make the ethos of the school Islamic, using phrases such as "insha'- Allah" (meaning "God willing" in letters sent to all parents.

It said staff felt this was inappropriate in the school, which was meant to hold a multi-faith ethos.

Concerns have also been raised over his use of Facebook.

The staff member said: "A child pointed his Facebook page out to me which shows Mr Luckcock apparently wearing a turban stating, 'Nearly gone native in Leicester'.

"I believe it's completely inappropriate and open for everyone to see because he has no privacy settings."

The grievance against Mr Matak says there is unnecessary interference in the management of the school.

It is claimed governors had refused to agree elements of the budget and a one-off "discretionary payment" to Mr Luckcock was agreed by Mr Matak which had not been approved by the whole governing body.

In March, the Leicester Mercury reported the school was proposing to axe up to 10 teaching assistant posts by the end of the summer term.

Mr Luckcock said this had been subject to a full consultation.

However, the grievance disputes this and calls for a halt to the restructuring process until an impartial review could be carried out.

Mr Luckcock declined to comment and, despite leaving messages for Mr Malak, the Mercury was unable to reach him.

A Leicester City Council spokesman said: "We can confirm that trade unions have raised collective grievances against the head teacher and the governing body.

"We have scheduled discussions with governors and with trade union representatives to discuss how the issues can be investigated and resolved.

"In the meantime, we cannot comment further on this matter."

Staff seek resignation of   head teacher at Leicester primary school

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