STAFF, parents and children are leaving a crisis-hit Bromsgrove school in droves due to a lack of leadership and support from the local authority, claim campaigners.

Sidemoor First School has been without a permanent headteacher for almost a year since Mrs Mari Jones and assistant head Mr Richard Watkins were placed on gardening leave last July.

The Perryfields Road school was placed in special measures by education watchdog Ofsted in July 2017 and it remained that way after a return visit last October.

Concerned parents have set up a petition online demanding action from Worcestershire County Council and one angry mum told the Advertiser the situation was worsening.

She said: “Parents are taking their kids out of the school left, right and centre. The staff are wonderful but they are at a loss about what to do because there is no clear leadership.

“We have had interim heads but there is no clear headteacher. Staff are leaving and there has been very little support from the LEA.”

Another parent commented on the petition website: “My child in year 2 is on her eighth teacher!

“Her first three years at Sidemoor will affect her for the rest of her life: how do you catch up from three years of bad teaching?”

The petition said: “A school cannot function without clear leadership - as such, it is the LEA's urgent job to now take action regarding Mrs Jones' position.

“Only a conclusion to this issue will make it possible to fill the role of headteacher permanently, this is now an issue of overriding urgency.

“Since the release of the Ofsted report, many wonderful and loved staff have chosen to leave the school. This compounds the problems by causing yet more upset and disruption to the pupils.

“As we approach the end of the school year we are now in a position where the current headteachers will be leaving and we have no information on who will replacing them.

“Once again this leaves the school leaderless, damaging our children and the future of our community.

“The fact that so many parents are choosing to remove their children from school should not be ignored. This is an unacceptable situation.

“Sidemoor First School is a much loved and valuable part of our community. However, we feel long term harm is being done to the future of our children.”

In response, Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member with responsibility for education and skills at Worcestershire County Council, promised a full review of the school was imminent.

He said: “We have been supporting Sidemoor First School to improve its outcome for all children.

“A dedicated School Improvement Advisor has been assisting the school’s senior leaders to make much needed improvement to teaching and learning.

“Working with the school’s governors, an action plan has been developed to support and improve the teaching, safeguarding and financial management of the school.

“We are aware that a petition has now been launched. We will review this petition when we receive it, as we would with all petitions handed to the County Council.

“A full school review is scheduled to take place after half term and we will share a summary of the findings with parents.”