VIDEO: Head teacher of a Rugby school leaves with 'immediate effect'

A letter was sent to parents of students at Ashlawn School stating that headteacher Lois Reed 'will not be returning' to the school.

Stewart Jardine, chair of Transforming Lives Education Trust (TLET) wrote to parents on June 4 saying: "As you will be aware, Mrs Reed has been away from the school for a number of weeks.

Ashlawn School.

Ashlawn School.

"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.

The announcement comes after the Advertiser revealed Mrs Reed received a salary of between £270,001 and £280,000 in 2017 - placing her among the highest earning heads in the country and meaning she had a pay rise of at least £50,000 from 2016 to 2017.

At the beginning of May the school sent an email to staff stating Lois Reed was off site and was not to be contacted regarding school business - when the Advertiser reached the school a spokesperson would not give any information.

The spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on individual members of staff.”

The Advertiser reached the Derbyshire-based PR company hired by Ashlawn School with a set of questions:

How much notice did Mrs Reed give?

Was Mrs Reed suspended?

Does Mrs Reed's leaving have anything to do with media coverage and public discussion of her salary?

A spokesperson did not wish to give a comment in response to any of the questions.

Mr Jardine's letter continues: "Ashlawn has achieved a great deal during Mrs Reed’s tenure. This is a fantastic school with a proud history of strong academic achievement and our students make a positive contribution to our community. Mrs Reed has been an important part of developing Ashlawn and we wish her well for the future."

Adding: "I am, therefore, delighted to announce that Mrs Cheney, deputy head, has agreed to step up to be our interim headteacher while the trust puts in place plans for our ongoing success.

"We have, therefore, agreed to allow Mrs Reed to focus on other opportunities and she will not be returning to the school.

"The school has a really strong senior leadership team, passionate and skilled staff and a supportive and caring community who are all dedicated to helping our students achieve all that they do. I look forward to seeing them continuing to take Ashlawn School from strength to strength."

In a statement to the Rugby Advertiser Mr Jardine added: "The trust, in close partnership with Ashlawn School’s headteacher, Mrs Reed, has been in discussions for a number of weeks about the leadership at the school.

"Following a very successful period for Ashlawn, we have concluded that it is right that there is a fresh start for all of us.

"Given that we are planning for the next academic year and Mrs Reed is focusing on other opportunities, we felt it was right that our new leadership team should start with immediate effect."

The partially-selective school is part of the Transforming Lives Education Trust – which also includes Ashlawn Teaching School and the Henry Hinde Infant school – which joined the trust in September 2017.