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Headteacher comes out of retirement to take over at primary school

Headteacher Helen Hollwey who is retiring from Upton Meadows Primary School, with year six pupils who have been at the school since it opened.

Headteacher Helen Hollwey who is retiring from Upton Meadows Primary School, with year six pupils who have been at the school since it opened.

A headteacher has come out of retirement to take over a Northampton primary school following the departure of the existing head.

Hardingstone Primary School became an academy at the start of this year and is sponsored by the EMLC Academy Trust.

The sponsor, which is based in Olney, has installed a new headteacher, Helen Hollwey, who is the former headteacher of Upton Meadows Primary School.

A spokesman for the trust said the former headteacher of Hardingstone Primary, Robin Bunting, had left the school in December after reaching an agreement with Northamptonshire County Council and resigning from his post.

Mrs Hollwey was in charge of Upton Meadows from when it opened in 2006 until last year when she announced her retirement.

EMLC Academy Trust chief executive, Jan Marshall, said: “We feel it is a statement of our intent to improve this school quickly by appointing Helen, a very experienced leader, who has successfully led three primary schools in Northamptonshire.”

But one parent, Camille Wordsworth, who has two boys at Hardingstone Primary, said she thought Mr Bunting’s departure from the school had been handled in an “appalling” way.

Ms Wordsworth said she felt the academy sponsor was trying to introduce too much change too quickly and said she felt Mr Bunting should have stayed on as headteacher at the school.

She said: “I had never seen in all my life children cry for a headmaster. He obviously bonded with the kids.

“This is just changing the wrapping and giving us more of the same. ”

The EMLC Academy Trust, which also sponsors Castle Primary School in Northampton, began operating as an academy sponsor in 2012 and also sponsors two academies in Milton Keynes, which opened in September 2012.

Both Castle and Hardingstone primary schools were turned into academies following “inadequate” Ofsted reports last year.

Hardingstone Primary School fell from a “good” Ofsted rating to “inadequate” following an inspection in March 2012.

Castle Primary School, in Semilong, was rated “inadequate” following a visit by Ofsted inspectors last year having being classed as “outstanding” four years earlier.

 

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