Shock As Head Bows Out At ‘New School’
Wednesday 31st October 2018 @ 14:39 by Mark Phillip

Principal Steve Playford has unexpectedly left Glossopdale School just weeks after the £26m complex had become fully operational.

His decision – seemingly triggered by a recent school inspection – was made public in a long letter to parents.

In a statement issued last week following an enquiry from the Chronicle, a spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “A recent inspection found that Glossopdale School has many strengths, including finding students to be very polite, courteous and safe. 

“However they also said that the overall progress of the school wasn’t rapid enough.   

“As principal of the school Mr Playford has decided to step aside. He will leave on October 31 (yesterday).

“The council are working with the Governing Board to appoint an executive head who will take over on November 5. 

“We would like to pass on our thanks to Mr Playford for his commitment and dedication to the school and the local community.”

In a statement issued through the council, Mr Playford said: “I would like to wish everyone at the school the very best for the future. 

“I know that everyone will benefit from the brand new school at the heart of its community.”

Mr Playford took over the former three-site Glossopdale Community College around a decade ago, going on to post impressive exam results.

For the last few years he had been championing the need for a new school and was proud to see its completion.

In the letter to parents Mr Playford began by saying he was delighted at ‘how well we have settled into our wonderful new school’.

After referring to this year’s exam results, Mr Playford said that after the school’s best exam results ever last year,  he recognised there were still more improvements to carry out.

The letter then said that in the view of the inspection team the overall progress of the school had not been rapid enough.

Mr Playford said that as principal he took full responsibility for this and that he had decided to step aside for someone else to take over the ‘helm’.

He added that the local authority  would put in place  an executive head.

The now former principal said it had been a great privilege and honour to lead Glossopdale School and to have secured a ‘wonderful new school building at the heart of the community that will serve the area for many generations to come.’

Mr Playford said he would take away many happy memories of school life and of the students.

By David Jones