College principal 'takes time off' after Ofsted

WILTSHIRE College has appointed an acting principal after telling its staff that principal Di Dale is taking time off and won’t be back again this term.

But the college is denying that she has resigned her £130,000 a year post, although vice-principal Ben Allen stopped short of saying that she will be back again next term.

Yesterday, an internal memo sent to staff from chairman of governors Helen Birchenough said: “Di Dale will not be returning to the college this term, I have asked Amanda Burnside, VP student experience, to take on the role of acting principal.”

The move comes after an Ofsted inspection two weeks ago. The inspector’s report will not be published for at least another three weeks but it is understood that the college has shown no improvement on its previous two Ofsteds, which both rated the college as satisfactory.

The Ofsted structure has been changed since the last visit two years ago and a similar grading would now rank it as requiring improvement.

Mrs Burnside, who joined the college three months ago, is a former executive director at Swindon College, which has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted.

Mr Allen said he could not comment on whether Mrs Dale, who has been at the college for almost eight years, is on gardening leave, as suggested by several members of staff contacting the press yesterday and today.

Of the memo sent out yesterday he said: “It is pretty standard business practice to let staff know, when someone is going to be away, that the college has leadership. The staff need to know who is in charge.

“Amanda has extensive experience in further education and is a safe pair of hands.”

He could not confirm whether Mrs Dale, who lives near Bradford on Avon, has resigned or that a decision has been taken or if she will return after the Easter break.

Last year the college was warned by Ofsted over low standards of achievement after just 32 per cent of students at Key Stage 5 met the academic minimum standard, although the college said the Ofsted conclusions were drawn from a low number of student results.

In 2012 members of the staff union ATL passed a vote of no confidence in the senior management team.

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:26am Wed 26 Mar 14

Old Salisbury Boy says...

Will the last person to leave Salisbury college please turn off the lights.
Will the last person to leave Salisbury college please turn off the lights. Old Salisbury Boy
  • Score: 0

10:16pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Withla says...

As a former employee of Wiltshire College, I am extremely surprised that Ms Dale has not asked to resign before now. Following the vote of no confidence in 2012, several key members of experienced staff, including 2 Vice Principals and a Senior Director, parted company with the college as they felt they could no longer work under the poor ethics of Ms Dale. At this stage it was clear that her focus was most definitely not on the achievements of the students but on her own personal career.
As a former employee of Wiltshire College, I am extremely surprised that Ms Dale has not asked to resign before now. Following the vote of no confidence in 2012, several key members of experienced staff, including 2 Vice Principals and a Senior Director, parted company with the college as they felt they could no longer work under the poor ethics of Ms Dale. At this stage it was clear that her focus was most definitely not on the achievements of the students but on her own personal career. Withla
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree