Petition calls for removal of head after poor GCSE results

The BBC is reporting that more than 240 people have signed an online petition calling for the head of a Somerset school to be removed from her post after poor GCSE results…

Only 38% of GCSE students at West Somerset College got five GCSE passes at C grade or above, including maths and English.

The petition calls for West Somerset’s principal Gaynor Comber to be removed.

The school’s governors said Ms Comber had their “full backing”.

They have started an “urgent investigation” into the reasons for the poor results.

In a letter sent earlier this week to parents, the school admitted it was “gravely concerned” at its “apparent inability” to improve student attainment at that level.

“We have every confidence in the ability of our leadership team to deliver (with your help) better outcomes for our young people,” it continued.

The letter added they “expect a visit from Ofsted in the very near future”.

“We will take any recommendations very seriously and will not hesitate to take action if action needs to be taken.”

Ms Comber said a third of students got at least one A or A* and the school would be appealing a number of results.

Martin McNeill, chair of governors at the college said: “We’ve appointed her [Ms Comber] to do a job.

“She’s only part-way through doing that job and she has the full support of the governing body in the job that she’s doing.

“I think parents are quite right to be concerned and governors certainly are concerned that the results have not improved as we would have hoped they would have done.”

Nationally this year’s results showed a sharp fall in English GCSE grades, but on average across all GCSE subjects there was a rise in A* to C grades.

Exam officials revealed that 68.8% of entries scored A*-C, up 0.7 percentage points on last summer…

More at: Petition calls for removal of West Somerset College head


It’s not the first and no doubt won’t be the last to face a petition like this, but with online channels making it much easier for parents and students to express their dissatisfaction, how should schools handle a situation like this? Any examples of those seem to have successfully defused situations like this? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Parenting.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This is very worrying & will increase hugely. All for freedom of speech but petition based on hearsay & due to govt rhetoric

  2. andylutwyche

    MrJDexter SchoolsImprove Totally agree. I honest
    Y think that this kind of thing will snowball with almost literal witch hunts occurring

  3. andylutwyche

    MrJDexter SchoolsImprove Petitions will be started based upon a child’s “version” of events that a parent/carer accepts without full story

  4. 5N_Afzal

    MrJDexter andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Governors are supporting the Head. Hopefully all concerned can work together.

  5. Organic_Jane

    MrJDexter andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Ridiculous situation. This is a dreadful culture created by useless government & baying press.

  6. andylutwyche

    “5N_Afzal: MrJDexter andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Governors are supporting the Head. Hopefully all concerned can work together.” Quite

  7. 5N_Afzal

    MrJDexter andylutwyche SchoolsImprove Very worrying that results were withheld because of disputes over payment for tablets.

  8. waterside09

    andylutwyche MrJDexter SchoolsImprove Take a step back – if children were actually listened to #RotherhamAbuse could have bn curtailed.

  9. waterside09

    andylutwyche MrJDexter SchoolsImprove the evidence in most cases is that parents & children’s experience & complaints have little weight

  10. andylutwyche

    waterside09 MrJDexter SchoolsImprove Agreed. No-one’s saying “don’t listen to children”; some may start a petition without full story

  11. andylutwyche

    waterside09 MrJDexter SchoolsImprove I realise that but mud sticks, whether it should have been initially thrown or not

  12. MrJDexter

    andylutwyche waterside09 SchoolsImprove situations like this complex, solutions complex – let them get on but monitor by GB

  13. waterside09

    andylutwyche MrJDexter SchoolsImprove I see the point of what you’re saying not enough characters here for full convo 🙁

  14. waterside09

    andylutwyche MrJDexter SchoolsImprove the reality is that parents & children’s experiences r 2often swept aside on important issues

  15. andylutwyche

    waterside09 MrJDexter SchoolsImprove Indeed – basically get all sides of the story and go through proper channels rather than petition

  16. andylutwyche

    waterside09 MrJDexter SchoolsImprove Agreed – perceptions are very important too and shouldn’t be ignored but too often are

  17. MrJDexter

    andylutwyche waterside09 SchoolsImprove that’s right and for some schools works other way perceived v gd but..

  18. andylutwyche

    MrJDexter waterside09 SchoolsImprove Absolutely, and who can blame those schools you mention for playing on that perception

  19. andylutwyche

    “MrJDexter: andylutwyche waterside09 SchoolsImprove it’s holidays still just we forgive u” Phew!Thought I might get Grammar Police visit

  20. waterside09

    andylutwyche MrJDexter SchoolsImprove not from this parent! I’m more concerned about the other issues of safeguarding #CSAinquiry

  21. waterside09

    andylutwyche MrJDexter SchoolsImprove I hope you all had good summers & that teaching will see better press for the great teachers

  22. The52List

    SchoolsImprove Err… hello? A team is only as strong as it’s weakest member & far too easy to blame the head #notfair

  23. VictoriaJaquiss

    steedie1980 SchoolsImprove Too much is expected. Schools, circumstances, children, environments r not the same. GCSEs are not everything.

  24. steedie1980

    VictoriaJaquiss SchoolsImprove social media inspires a ‘mob culture’ that can encourage this sort of thing #educationnotxfactor

  25. ballater6

    steedie1980 VictoriaJaquiss SchoolsImprove colleague was hounded by social media for banning an abusive parent -no support-resigned-sad

  26. rrobson66

    SchoolsImprove there may have been a rise in A*-C but I will bet there’s been a drop in FACIEM but the figure’s ‘not available’

Let us know what you think...