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Gloucestershire Business News

Surprise as head announces resignation from Gloucester School

Parents of children at Barnwood Park School in Gloucester - which recently started admitting boys for the first time - have been taken by surprise today by the resignation of head teacher Sarah Tufnell.

She has written to parents and carers to tell them that 'after a great deal of careful thought and considerations' she has decided to retire at the end of the current academic year in August 2020.

She wrote "Barnwood Park is in a very good place at the moment and the time is right for someone else to take over the reins and lead the school forward on its next exciting chapter.

"Whilst it will be incredibly difficult for me to leave Barnwood, as my heart and soul are here, the time is also right for me to enjoy retirement from Headship and follow new ventures in the future.

"I have genuinely, thoroughly enjoyed my time as Headteacher here since September 2012 and have been privileged to work with such lovely youngsters and amazing staff here at the school.

"We have been on an incredible journey together and the school has seen many changes during that time. I am very proud of the fact that, together, we have moved the school from having 'Serious Weaknesses' in 2013 to being graded Good by Ofsted in 2014 and Good again in July 2019.

"We have successfully made the transition to being a mixed school and are expanding our numbers every year. We are now heavily oversubscribed and enjoy a good reputation and relationship with our local community.

"I would like to assure you all that it is business as usual for the rest of my time here. We have a very strong Governing Body who, with the support of the local authority, will go through a robust process of recruiting a new Headteacher for the school over the next few months after Christmas.

"We will ensure that it is a smooth process and that the new Headteacher will have every support they need to have everything in place ready to hit the ground running in September 2020.

"This is a very special place to work and I am so very fond of every single child at the school. This is not goodbye yet, but I want to thank you for all your support over the years and I look forward to seeing you at all of our events throughout the year. I know you will continue to support the new Headteacher as the school moves forward from strength to strength in the future."

One local mum with children at the school said today that the announcement was a shock - even though she was aware that some parents had been strongly opposed to the decision by the head and govenors to admit boys to what had always been a girls only school.

"I believe the head has had a lot of grief from parents about the decision to start taking boys. The school has had to go through a lot of changes to make that happen and I don't think it has gone particularly smoothly," said the mum.

"Some of the pupils have said how the boys have made the school really noisy and different.

"But I really don't know whether her decision to retire is in any way related to this recent change in admission policy. I didn't think she was old enough to retire so it is quite unexpected."

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