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Entire board of governors resign from Chichester school

The board of governors at a local school in Chichester has resigned following a dispute with the county council.

On Friday 15th July 2022, the whole Governing Body of Parklands Community Primary School resigned from their positions.

At statement from the Governors said: 

"Six years ago, West Sussex County Council commissioned a new building for Parklands School to facilitate the move to Parklands becoming a larger Primary School. The Governing Body have fully supported the school leadership and operations teams for over 6 years, throughout this time monitoring the build, snagging list and use of this building extension. The school, supported by the Governing Body have diligently reported all faults, design issues and failures often repeatedly to West Sussex County Council.

The Governing Body have stood side by side the Leadership Team to repeatedly request repair of numerous and often significant faults and failures with the building. Some of these will have been more visible, such as the several months of scaffolding around the building when part of the exterior cladding fell off the building, others would not have been.

Further to a recent review of certain parts of the school by a third party, reported to West Sussex County Council in March, and after lack of response by the council, failure to complete all requested repairs and lack of reporting and validation of any work done, the Governing Body were forced to write on 8th of July to West Sussex County Council in simply requesting a statement ensuring the safety of the building from West Sussex County Council as the landlord of the building.

West Sussex County Council has not provided this statement in the timeframe requested. Because West Sussex County Council have been unable to provide this statement within the timescale requested, the Governing Body are unable to fulfil their duties in ensuring the safety of the 430 pupils, and 70 adults who use the school building. This position follows an entirely unreasonable period of more than six years where throughout the build the provision of adequate project management, health & safety provision, due care to the wellbeing of school employees of West Sussex County Council and the poor spend and monitoring of spend of public funds on a public building, have not been adequate for a project of this scale in a children’s learning environment.

The Governing Body cannot state firmly enough that they are absolutely confident in the leadership of the school in being able to provide the day-to-day operational excellence to provide a safe environment where this is not compromised by many ongoing build related issues. All questions relating to this decision should be directed to West Sussex County Council. The school will not make any further comment on the matter, they are not responsible for building work, or failures of that building work"

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