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Beaulieu COO resigns after just 18 months in role

Beaulieu COO resigns after just 18 months in role

Monday 20 November 2023

Beaulieu COO resigns after just 18 months in role

Monday 20 November 2023


The Chief Operating Officer of Beaulieu has handed in her letter of resignation just 18 months after taking on the controversial new role – and is set to serve her notice period on Gardening Leave.

A letter announcing the resignation of Pippa Davidson-Coleshill confirmed that "all her responsibilities have been delegated to other members of staff on an interim basis, with immediate effect".

In the letter sent to parents on Friday shared with Express, trustee Chris Walters described the former COO as "an invaluable member of our community" who played a "key role in steering the school through a period of transition over the last 18 months".

Mrs Davidson-Coleshill was appointed to the newly-created COO role in June 2022. 

She faced backlash at the end of last year after numerous Beaulieu parents voiced concerns about the sudden departure of Head of School Andrea Firby and a subsequent controversial restructuring of the school’s senior management. 

 

Screenshot_2023-11-20_at_09.11.13.pngCLICK TO READ IN FULL: The letter from trustee Chris Walters announcing Pippa Davidson-Coleshill’s resignation.

This sparked a petition calling for the reinstatement of Mrs Firby and a 'Vote of No Confidence in Beaulieu Management' – including former headteacher Chris Beirne and Mrs Davidson-Coleshill.

The NASUWT teaching union also issued a strongly-worded statement warning that it had no confidence in Beaulieu’s management structure, and voiced concerns over the "unusually high" staff turnover and an "increasingly difficult" working environment at the school.

The union questioned why a school of Beaulieu’s size needed both a CEO (Chris Beirne, who was also headmaster) and a COO.

An Independent Jersey Schools Review Framework report of the convent school was conducted in November 2022 and made public in January. 

Among it's findings were observations that some Beaulieu staff had been "over-generous" in their self-assessment, and that recent changes in senior leadership and poor communication had led to "a lack of accountability and a dip in educational standards".

This was shortly followed by a restructuring of the school’s senior management, and the stepping-back of the former Head Teacher Mr Beirne

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Pictured: An independent report into Beaulieu Convent School found that poor communication had led to "a lack of accountability and a dip in educational standards".

Mr Beirne, who was due to retire at the end of 2024, was asked to continue helping with "less visible" elements of the school’s management and teach a "limited number" of religious education lessons.

A follow-up report published in May this year found that the school is taking "effective action" to remedy its problems, including prioritising improving communication with parents, developing a new strategic vision for the school for the next 18 months, and transforming their record keeping systems in relation to the checks that are made on staff.

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Pictured: Mr Beirne's retirement was announced in September, just nine months after stepping down into the "less visible" role of Executive Director amid criticism of senior leadership at the school.

Mr Beirne's retirement was announced in September – a year before initially planned, and just nine months after stepping down into the Executive Director role.

Beaulieu confirmed that Deputy Headteacher Paul Robinson would continue as Acting Headteacher until September 2024, when Matthew Burke will take over as permanent Headteacher.  

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