A PRIMARY school has been stunned by the mass resignation of most of its governors over their dissatisfaction with the head teacher.

There were fireworks at the North Street school when seven of the ten-strong team quit on Bonfire Night.

They outlined a list of frustrations at the direction of the school, which now has just three remaining governors - head Steve Duncan, who has been in post for four years, classroom assistant Fiona 'Fizz' Fry and retired teacher Sarah Heard.

In a letter to parents and guardians of pupils at the North Street school, the former governors outline their reasons for standing down, including an abnormally high staff turnover, increasing problems of pupil behaviour and a "very disappointing" decline in results.

They claim there has been little improvement despite their efforts to help and were shocked when they say Somerset County Council suggested they may have been overzealous with their treatment of Mr Duncan.

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Head teacher Steve Duncan.

The letter says part of a governor's role is to "challenge the leadership if the school is not progressing as planned".

It adds: "We tried to do what we could to assist the leadership in rectifying the position, but were deeply concerned that there had been little improvement.

"So we turned to the county council as education authority to assist us.

"The education authority have been making strenuous efforts to improve the school's performance but they feel that we, as governors, may have taken too firm a line with the leadership.

"Unsurprisingly, we feel we cannot continue as governors if we can't carry out the task we are given to challenge underperformance.

"It would be unfair particularly on you, the parents at the school and also the children, as out sole aim has been to improve the experience of all children at the school."

They have pledged to continue to support the school but stepped down as they felt "hamstrung" so that a fresh board of governors can take over.

The governors who have left are chairman Peter Berman, who after more than 20 years is the longest-serving, vice-chairman Julian Mellor, Jimmy Beale, Adrian Myram, Gabriel Smy, Jo Tilley and Johanna Wood.

The County Gazette was directed to the county council when we approached Wiveliscombe Primary School.

A spokesman for the council said “We can confirm that the majority of members of the school’s governing body recently resigned.

"We are saddened that individual governors have taken this decision and thank them for the time they have given to the role.

“We are working closely with the local authority to establish an interim board until permanent arrangements can be put in place, and will continue to work with the authority to bring about the improvements prioritised in the school development plan.”