Head accused of bullying quits school

'Very unhappy school': Westfield Sports College in Sheffield.
'Very unhappy school': Westfield Sports College in Sheffield.

A SHEFFIELD headteacher who was at the centre of a row over allegations of the bullying and intimidation of staff has resigned.

Susan Simmons has been head at Westfield Sports College at Beighton for the last four and a half years.

Last summer her staff proposed a motion of no confidence in her leadership - but a meeting to discuss the issue was postponed due to the long six week break.

Chair of governors Coun Ian Saunders admitted the secondary had problems while a member of staff said Westfield was a ‘very unhappy school’.

Now Coun Saunders has confirmed Mrs Simmons had left to pursue fresh challenges.

“The governors and staff wish Susan well for the future.

“Susan would like to thank the students, parents, governors and staff of Westfield for all their support and good wishes.

“She knows all of the hard work put into the college over recent years has ensured that it is now in a very strong position. Susan would like to wish everyone all the best for the future.”

Andy Ireland will be interim head until the governing body has decided on a way forward.

But a parent said many families would be relieved by the news.

“It seems she has done the sensible thing and resigned.

“All the talk is that staff relationships in the school were at rock bottom and things couldn’t carry on like that,” he said.

Union representatives also became involved in the dispute between Mrs Simmons and her staff, saying her management style was the issue.

One teacher said the school had been nicknamed ‘the exam factory’ as pupils were entered for large numbers of courses resulting in worthless qualifications but which boosted Westfield’s position in league tables.

But Mrs Simmons told The Star the allegations had taken her completely by surprise - and added she was shocked and hurt that anyone could accuse her of such behaviour.