Staff shocked after abrupt departure of academy headteacher

The Stoke Sentinel is reporting that a popular headteacher has quit her academy job less than five months after taking up post…

The Excel Academy, in Sneyd Green, today refused to comment on the reasons behind Pam Clulow’s departure.

But officials confirmed she stepped down as principal this week by ‘mutual agreement’.

Mrs Clulow joined the school in January just as staff and pupils transferred to a new £11 million building.

The school has since become part of Stoke-on-Trent College’s multi-academy trust, which also includes The Discovery Academy, in Bentilee.

John Patino, the trust’s executive principal, is now doubling up as acting headteacher…

Staff were told of Mrs Clulow’s departure earlier today, although it is understood she had not been in school since last week.

A source told The Sentinel: “We loved working with her and it’s come as a shock.”

The Excel Academy, previously known as Holden Lane High, was recently praised by Ofsted inspectors for its major improvements.

Mrs Clulow had taken up the job after helping to turn round The Cheadle Academy…

In a statement released through the academy sponsors, Mrs Clulow said: “The future for The Excel Academy is very promising and it will go from strength to strength. I would like to thank staff, students and parents for their support and encouragement.”…

More at: Staff shocked after abrupt departure of The Excel Academy headteacher Pam Clulow

Any local insights into what might have happened here? Was the move to become part of the larger multi-academy trust already on the cards when Pam Clulow took on the head’s job? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Academies.


  1. Janet2

    Holden Lane High did not officially convert to academy status until 1 March 2014 although it operated as Excel Academy since September 2013.  Conversion was delayed because the legal process of conversion was delayed. 

    This raises the question about how it’s possible for academies to change the name of a school, change its uniform etc before the school has legally become an academy.  This has already caused problems for Sandy Upper School which was taken over by the Barnfield Federation before the academy process was complete.  Sandy Upper School is now in limbo since the Barnfield Federation has been censured by the EFA.

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