BELEAGURED Roke Primary School has today announced its headteacher will be absent for the rest of term - and is yet to say whether she will return at all. In a letter to parents, Christine Barry, who will be taking over as 'executive headteacher' in the interim, wrote that the school's head, Caroline Phillips, was "absent due to ill-health and unfortunately, she will not be returning this term". The Kenley primary is currently in the midst of high-profile controversy over the Government's intention to turn it into an academy under the control of the Harris Federation. The plan was triggered by a damning Ofsted report last summer although Save Roke campaigners claim this was purely the fault of senior management and had nothing to do with the standard of teaching. Despite an expressed wish by the school to have nearby Riddlesdown Collegiate to act as a sponsor, the government Harris. Since then, the Save Roke group have sought legal advice, marched on Whitehall with a petition of more than 2,000 signatures opposing the change and visited the Harris headquarters in Croydon. Christine Barry, an education consultant, has had 21 years of experience as a headteacher and said she will be supporting the assistant and deputy heads, Katie Turner and Elizabeth Vincent in the running of the school. Read more on this story in Friday's Advertiser.
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