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Beaulieu School announces six new governors

Beaulieu School announces six new governors

Tuesday 19 December 2023

Beaulieu School announces six new governors

Tuesday 19 December 2023


Beaulieu Convent School has announced six new additions to its Board of Governors after a tumultuous year for the convent school.

The six new school governors have been named as Stephen Reilly, Andrew Christon, Vicki Charlesworth, Moyra Journeaux, Peter Field and Patrick Lynch.

As the new appointees were annouced, it was also confirmed that Terry Le Sueur stepped down as Director of Beaulieu Convent School Limited last week.

From the former Board, Sister Geraldine Tisdall and Canon Dominic Golding will remain both governors and trustees.

Bernadette Cooper and Chris Walters also remain as trustees, and will serve as governors for the duration of their terms of office to "ensure a comprehensive handover of governance to the new Board".

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Pictured: In a message sent to parents, the six new governors described themselves as "committed to Beaulieu and to securing the best outcomes for your children".

In a statement, Beaulieu said: "As a school, we are very excited to welcome our new governors as we enter into a new and very positive chapter for Beaulieu in 2024."

They explained that the new governors "bring a wealth of knowledge and experience from a variety of sectors including finance, governance, risk management and education".

Patrick Lynch is the CEO of local catholic charity Caritas, whilst Vicki Charlesworth is Headteacher of Les Landes Primary School.

Stephen Reilly is the Head of Corporate Solutions at Apex Group, Andrew Christon is Head of Risk at HSBC, and Peter Field is the Governance Risk and Controls Officer of Quilter Cheviot.

Dr Moyra Journeaux is a registered nurse and works as a Postgraduate Programme Manager for the Government of Jersey.

The new appointments come just a month after it emerged that Beaulieu's Chief Operating Officer had resigned and would be serving her notice period on Gardening Leave.

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

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.

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. 

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.

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Pictured: Andrea Firby has been "the face of Beaulieu" for over a decade before her shock departure last December.

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. 

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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".

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

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.

At the time, the school confirmed that Deputy Headteacher Paul Robinson would continue as Acting Headteacher until September 2024, when Matthew Burke will take over as Beaulieu's permanent Headteacher. 

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