Union arranges Benn Hall meeting to seek explanation for Ashlawn head teacher's departure

Lois Reed.
Lois Reed.

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) has arranged a public meeting to obtain a full explanation after Ashlawn School head Lois Reed left in a cloud of mystery.

The spokesperson for the NUT said the Mrs Reed’s sudden exit raises significant questions and the union has now arranged an open meeting at the Benn Hall at 6pm on June 20.

The national president of the NEU (NUT), Kiri Tunks, has agreed to contribute at the meeting and the union is waiting for responses to invitations to the regional schools commissioner and to Rugby MP Mark Pawsey as well as from representatives of the current Ashlawn school Trust to also attend the meeting.

A spokesperson for the NUT said: “The hope is that the current uncertainties at Ashlawn following Mrs Reed’s departure, only weeks after her £270,000 salary was revealed, can be clarified and accountability for the implications of the sudden school management change can be fully discussed against a background of questions about school funding in general and education provision in Rugby as a whole.”

The departure of Mrs Reed came about after the Advertiser revealed her salary of between £270,001 and £280,000 in 2017 - which placed her among the highest earning heads in the country.

A spokesperson for the NUT said the departure of Mrs Reed: “apparently without any prior warning, sent shock waves through the Warwickshire school community and beyond as the school becomes just one more troubled trust statistic of confusion in the national academy landscape.

“This financial difficulty comes as the NEU School Funding Cuts website reveals that the school faces funding cuts of up to £147 per student by 2020 and a general loss of over £200,000.”

The National Education Union (NEU) was formed by the amalgamation of the NUT and Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

Mrs Reed’s departure was announced by Ashlawn School in a letter to parents issued on Monday, June 4.

The letter states: “As you will be aware, Mrs Reed has been away from the school for a number of weeks. We have been in regular contact with her during this time and we have agreed that it is right that there is a fresh start for all of us.”

In addition to being Ashlawn’s head, Mrs Reed was the acting chief executive officer and accounting officer for the Transforming Lives Educational Trust – which consists of Ashlawn School, Ashlawn Teaching School and the Henry Hinde Infant school.

The Advertiser asked the school’s spokesman if Mrs Reed’s departure had anything to do with public discussion and media coverage of her salary but they declined to comment.