'Parents are 100 per cent behind me': Star primary school head teacher says she has been backed by mums and dads after being suspended for criticising lazy teachers during lockdown (12 Pics)

A star primary school teacher suspended after saying some staff were 'sat at home doing nothing' today insisted parents back her for being honest about teachers who 'wouldn't turn up' for work and act like they are furloughed on full pay.
Pauline Wood, from Grange Park in Sunderland, accused her staff of bragging that they were spending 'more time watching Netflix' at home than they were working during the coronavirus pandemic as they were only coming in to school two days a week.
Mrs Wood, a married mother-of-three, was then suspended on full pay on June 12 by the school's new chair of governors Mary Hodgson, but said today the school's parents are behind her '100 per cent'.
Today she turned on her underperforming staff again and told ITV's This Morning: 'They wouldn't turn up. You know, we're not on furlough, we're on full wages and I think it's reasonable to expect people to come in. 
Pauline Wood, from Grange Park in Sunderland, accused her staff of bragging that they were spending 'more time watching Netflix' and said some wouldn't turn up for work
Pauline Wood, from Grange Park in Sunderland, accused her staff of bragging that they were spending 'more time watching Netflix' and said some wouldn't turn up for work
Mrs Wood spearheaded her school's rapid ascent up the Ofsted grading system from 'inadequate' to 'outstanding' in 15 years - but she has now been suspended

Mrs Wood spearheaded her school's rapid ascent up the Ofsted grading system from 'inadequate' to 'outstanding' in 15 years - but she has now been suspended


'So when we said we're moving from a two-day schedule to a three-day schedule I was very surprised and the worst thing was, I didn't know about it until somebody else, without the authority, had actually agreed that the teachers could do two days and not three. 

'Therefore, I was undermined in my role as a headteacher, suspended two days later with no notice, no discussion, about bringing the school into disrepute when all I'd done was tell the truth'.
Mrs Wood says she's had messages of support from all over the country.
She said: 'Because of my suspension I’m not allowed to mix with or even contact parents, children, staff or anybody else so it’s very difficult for me to find out, but having read things on Facebook and twitter and in the press, the vibe I’m getting is that the parents are one hundred percent behind me because they do appreciate what I’ve done for the school, taking a deprived area from one of the worst performing in the local authority to always in the top ten, and we’ve had five major accolades, and we’ve had over 100 schools visit us to see how we get the results that we get in an area like ours. And these are people from all over the country.”
She added: 'The messages of support that I’ve had over the weekend from people in education, head teachers and teachers that do go the extra mile and should be proud to be in the profession, they’re saying, "It’s about time somebody let the public know what it’s really like".'  
She claimed chair of governors Mrs Hodgson had told her the action was being taken due to her 'bringing the school into disrepute' by making her comments about teachers in an interview on local radio three days earlier. 
Defending herself today thfied a single person in this and I've always said it was a minority of staff. The thing is, because this decision was made and I was told about it afterwards, of course that got my back up a bit. I would have been very happy to discuss it with anyone, but they didn't give me the chance because two days later I get a phone call suspending me. And even now, nearly two-and-a-half weeks later, no one has asked me to discuss this at all.' 
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline last week, Mrs Wood, who spearheaded Grange Park Primary School's ascent up the Ofsted grading system, said she had been left 'disappointed' by her suspension and believed proper procedures had not been followed. 
She disclosed that she had already handed in her notice at Grange Park School in Sunderland last January so she could leave in August, partly because she felt 'a small minority' of staff were not pulling their weight.
Mrs Wood was working out her notice, ready to leave at the end of August, when she was suspended over her and banned from going back into the 220-pupil school without permission. 
She blasted some teachers at Grange Park Primary School (pictured) for not pulling their weight during months of lockdown
She blasted some teachers at Grange Park Primary School (pictured) for not pulling their weight during months of lockdown
Mrs Wood (left) is being investigated for potentially bringing her school into 'disrepute' during an interview on local BBC radio
Mrs Wood (left) is being investigated for potentially bringing her school into 'disrepute' during an interview on local BBC radio
It came after education unions faced accusations they were sabotaging efforts to get children back to school, with the National Education Union insisting Boris Johnson's 'one metre plus' rule will still make teaching difficult.
School closures are overwhelmingly impacting disadvantaged children, with a recent survey revealing two million children in the UK had done barely any schoolwork at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
Around one in five pupils have carried out no schoolwork, or less than an hour a day, since schools closed partially in March. Meanwhile, only 17 per cent of children put in more than four hours a day.  
Other figures revealed that nearly a third (31 per cent) of private schools provided four or more online lessons daily, compared with just six per cent of state schools. 
Meanwhile parents who are left in the dark about the future of their children's education have to look after them at home, meaning they cannot get back to work and help kickstart the UK economy.    
Mrs Wood had praised some teachers for coming with 'imaginative things' during lockdown. 
She read out texts on BBC Radio Newcastle from parents concerned about the level of support schools have been offering children, and remarked: 'Some teachers are coming up with the most imaginative, amazing things and other people do sit at home doing nothing. I won't defend those people.'
When asked to comment further, though, she said: 'Some teachers have been in (schools), but many have not been in at any time. Safety is paramount, but don't make out teachers have all been working flat out.' 
She added: 'I think it's time we talked about the elephant in the room.' 
She has hit back at criticism, tweeting: 'As Headteachers, our job descriptions say we should hold staff to account'
She has hit back at criticism, tweeting: 'As Headteachers, our job descriptions say we should hold staff to account'
People took to Twitter to praise Mrs Wood's 'refreshing honesty', with one account posting: 'Pauline Wood head teacher from grange park tells the truth about lazy teachers doing nothing during lockdown and gets suspended'
People took to Twitter to praise Mrs Wood's 'refreshing honesty', with one account posting: 'Pauline Wood head teacher from grange park tells the truth about lazy teachers doing nothing during lockdown and gets suspended'
People took to Twitter to praise Mrs Wood's 'refreshing honesty', with one account posting: 'Pauline Wood head teacher from grange park tells the truth about lazy teachers doing nothing during lockdown and gets suspended'.
Another social media user commented: 'I think Pauline Wood deserves a pat on the back for being honest. I work with teachers everyday and I can guarantee some really are lazy. 
'Some have not worked 10 hours a week let alone flat out.'   
Mrs Wood has been at Grange Park for 15 years and has been repeatedly praised in Ofsted reports for her 'relentless' pursuit of 'excellence'. She was credited with overseeing an extremely positive impact on pupils' outcomes' and saw the school shortlisted for a prestigious TES award in 2012.
The head teacher said she did not know who had nominated the school for the award, but said she was thrilled. 
She said at the time: 'The letter came as a fantastic surprise for us, the staff are absolutely buzzing about it. 
'It was enough to be only one of three outstanding primary schools in Sunderland, but to be recognised nationally is even better. When you think of the area we are in, we don't get everything handed to us.   
'We have to fight really hard for everything we get so this is wonderful.' 
Mrs Wood has also championed breakfast clubs to help low-income working families avoid going on the dole.
She had kept the price of the school's club at just £1 for nine years to 2014 in a big boost for parents.
She told the Sunderland Echo in 2014: 'The cost of childcare can be a big barrier to working, and the lower-paid the job, the less likely it is that parents will feel it is worth it.
'Even breakfast clubs can start to add up if parents have more than one child at school and need to use them every day. The cost can then eat into a salary and make it seem pointless for parents to work. 
'But it is vital that parents are given the opportunity to work and set a good example for their children. And that's why we haven't raised the price of our breakfast club in almost a decade.'  
Grange Park, which is in one of the most deprived areas in the country and has 226 pupils, now sits in the top two per cent for phonics and maths at key stage two level nationally. 
A Whitehall source said the plans, to be published next week, would allow Boris Johnson to meet his pledge to get all children back full-time in September. Pictured, pupils are back in classes at Ortu Gable Hall School in Corringham, Essex
A Whitehall source said the plans, to be published next week, would allow Boris Johnson to meet his pledge to get all children back full-time in September. Pictured, pupils are back in classes at Ortu Gable Hall School in Corringham, Essex
Chair of Grange Park school governors Mary Hodgson said that she could not comment on personal circumstances as it would be a 'breach of confidentiality'. 
Mrs Wood was working out her notice period and a job advert for her position closed in March. It offered applicants a salary of between £57,986 and £67,183 a year for the permanent role, starting from September 1.
The advert read: 'Grange Park Primary School is looking for a dynamic, ambitious and committed headteacher to join and lead our thriving, friendly and inspirational school in September 2020. Here at Grange Park Primary School honesty, integrity and ambition are qualities which lie at the heart of all we do.
'We believe that every child can achieve their potential. We strive to give the children in our school the lifelong learning skills to empower them to choose the life they want. Our lasting message is, ''never give up''.'
General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) Geoff Barton said head teachers can 'give their perspective and insight to the public via the media'.
He added that general advice to workers is for them to have three key messages for the interviews and to be helped by someone when they prepare. 
It comes as education unions set up a fresh clash with politicians and parents this week over Boris Johnson's plan for full school attendance in September using reduced social distancing.
The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) called talk of relaxing the two-metre social distancing rule to one metre to get children back to school 'conjecture' and 'pure fantasy'. 
Geoff Barton, of the ASCL, said: 'There has been a lot of conjecture that relaxing the two-metre social distancing rule to one metre will allow all children to return to school in September. 
Geoff Barton
Dr Mary Bousted
Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said Mr Johnson's claim was 'pure fantasy', and Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said:  If social distancing of one metre remains in place, that will still be difficult for schools'
Social distancing measures as a child studies on a marked table at Kempsey Primary School in Worcester, May 18, 2020
Social distancing measures as a child studies on a marked table at Kempsey Primary School in Worcester, May 18, 2020
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is planning a 'double bubble' for primary schools, allowing class sizes of more than 30. Pictured, Year 10 pupils Ortu Gable Hall School in Corringham, Essex, return to school
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is planning a 'double bubble' for primary schools, allowing class sizes of more than 30. Pictured, Year 10 pupils Ortu Gable Hall School in Corringham, Essex, return to school
'This is pure fantasy. It may be possible to accommodate more pupils in classrooms with a one-metre (plus) separation, but not all pupils. There just isn't enough space in many classrooms to do this.
'It isn't a magic bullet, and nor is the Education Secretary's suggestion on Friday of doubling the size of social bubbles to 30, in order to facilitate a full return to schools. We need a proper strategy to bring children back into schools and colleges based in reality and on public health guidance.' 
Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU, said: 'The NEU is of course in favour of all children being back in school, but even with a one-metre rule that will need more teachers and more spaces. It is not clear whether in less than three months the science will permit classes of 30. If social distancing of one metre remains in place, that will still be difficult for schools.' 
Proposals being finalised by Gavin Williamson will continue the 'bubble' system that has allowed some primary classes to start up again already. 
Children will not be asked to maintain any distance between each other while at school under the proposed plans, however they will be expected to adhere to social distancing on the journey to and from school.  
While social distancing is to be scrapped, basic hygiene such as regular hand washing will still be encouraged within schools, with children told to 'catch it, bin it, kill it' if they sneeze or cough with a tissue nearby. 
Bubble schemes are being planned for secondary schools, where the situation is complex as pupils move around the school for different subjects.
A Whitehall source said the plans, which will be published next week, would allow Mr Johnson to meet his pledge to get all children back full-time for the start of the school year in September.  
The move will allow ministers to bypass opposition from teaching unions, who warned that a full return will be impossible due to a need for social distancing. 
Alternative proposals to requisition public buildings and bring back an army of retired teachers have been abandoned as impractical. 
Ministers faced a backlash this month when they abandoned plans to get all primary school classes back for a month before the end of the summer term.
Head teachers said it was simply not possible to get everyone back while the 15-child limit remained in place.
But a Whitehall source said falls in virus cases meant Public Health England was ready to dramatically increase the guidance on the size of bubbles that can be operated safely.
'We can change the social distance rules and increase the size of the bubbles,' the source said. 'That is potentially a game-changer for schools.'   
'Parents are 100 per cent behind me': Star primary school head teacher says she has been backed by mums and dads after being suspended for criticising lazy teachers during lockdown (12 Pics) 'Parents are 100 per cent behind me': Star primary school head teacher says she has been backed by mums and dads after being suspended for criticising lazy teachers during lockdown (12 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:22 Rating: 5

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