Hartlepool headteacher hits out at parents for criticising school as part of inspection

West Park Primary School headteacher Mark Parry
West Park Primary School headteacher Mark Parry

A HEADTEACHER has hit out at parents who criticised his school as part of a government inspection.

Mark Parry, headteacher at West Park Primary in Hartlepool, sent all parents a letter on Monday to express his disappointment after one in four replies claimed they wouldn’t recommend the school to another parent.

Mr Parry said he was “surprised and disappointed” at the negative responses and has asked anyone who didn’t complete the Parent View questionnaire to make their feelings known ahead of a meeting with governors which is scheduled to take place this evening.

In the letter, which was sent home with all pupils, Mr Parry said: “I am writing to you with regard to the responses given on Parent View in connection with last week’s inspection.

“First of call can I thank those who have already gone online to express their opinions about West Park.

“As you may know, Ofsted attach some significance on the views of parents in making their judgements and, because of this, I was surprised and disappointed by some of the negative responses expressed by a significant minority of parents with regard to various aspects of West Park.”

Mr Parry said the views expressed about not recommending the school are “contrary to the views expressed by parents in the parents’ questionnaire in March”.

He added: “Either something has changed significantly since then or some of the views expressed on parents views are not completely representative of yourselves as parents and carers.”

Mr Parry then urges more parents to take part in the survey.

One parent, a 39-year-old mum-of-two, said: “If the headteacher is surprised and disappointed then perhaps he should do more to enter into dialogue with parents to find out why some feel that way.

“All parents are encouraged by Ofsted to have their say on their child’s school and the headteacher should have respect for views expressed, whether positive or negative.

“In my view, there are positive aspects within the school but also areas that could be improved and it will be interesting to see what view Ofsted come to.”

Mr Parry, did not wish to elaborate on the letter further when asked by the Mail, but stressed the school was listening and the aim of the letter was to encourage more 
parents to express their views.

The school finished second joint top in town for the number of pupils achieving Level 4 in both English and maths in the latest league tables released last December.