ISAMBARD Community School headteacher Rachael Mattey has rung the bell on her 34-year career in education saying she wants no part in a system she claims is going back to the 1970s.
The 54-year-old, who commutes to Redhouse every day from her home in Malvern, Worcestershire, said she disagreed with the direction the Government was taking reform and how the Ofsted was inspecting schools.
On Monday she announced her decision to retire to staff before she attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday in recognition of her services to education.
Rachael, who was appointed the school’s first headteacher eight years ago, said she was concerned about the Government’s plans.
“I fundamentally disagree with the changes being made by the Government, I don’t want to be part of it,” she said.
“Morale is very low at the moment among teachers. They feel they are not being listened to as a profession and I agree with them. “I disagree with Ofsted’s one-size-fits-all model for inspections and looking at the National Curriculum changes it’s similar to what I was doing in the 1970s. “I cannot see how it can prepare anybody for 21st century life. It’s going backwards.
“Schools will be very different places in the future.”
Rachael said she had been mulling over retirement for several months. The former Birmingham inner city school teacher said: “I had been thinking about retiring for several months but it did come as a bit of a bombshell when I told staff on Monday. “People have said nice things but there are of course lots of questions about what will happen next as I’ve led the school from the beginning.
“I took the job because it was an opportunity to start a school and they don’t come up very often. “I’m happy with the direction I’ve taken it in and it’s a wonderful place to be.
“I’m jealous of our students as I wish I could have gone to a school like this.
“It was not a particularly hard decision. There comes a time when any organisation needs a fresh pair of eyes to see what it is doing right and what can be improved.”
While she has yet to decide what exactly she will do next, Rachael says it may involve elements of education through training or consultancy.
in a letter to parents on Monday the chairman of the governors, Kevin Gray, said : “There is no doubt that Mrs Mattey will leave behind a significant legacy based on caring for the students at the school and giving them the ability to see that there are no end of possibilities open to each and every one of them. “She also leaves behind a highly qualified and competent team.
“The first step in this process is for the governors to meet and make a decision as to how they wish to proceed in terms of selecting and employing a new headteacher.
“We want to assure you that student progress will not be adversely affected by this announcement and the ensuing recruitment of a new headteacher. “In fact, we expect that the changes that will be implemented in the near future will improve our students’ welfare and attainment.
“One of the long-term changes that you will see being implemented over the next academic year is an increase in community engagement.”