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Parents who lost their voluntary roles as governors of Birmingham’s Moseley School have been asking awkward questions about Thelma Probert – a former head teacher appointed to the Interim Executive Board which replaced them.

Mrs Probert has been awarded an OBE for services to education, and is a schools support partner in six schools – but her elevated status puzzles the mums and dads at Moseley who point to her record at the inner city Golden Hillock specialist sports college in Small Heath.

During her 12-year tenure, the school never achieved more than a 24% success rate for pupils achieving five GCSE’s (including English and Maths) – around 20% below the national average.

Her legacy is that Golden Hillock was subsequently rated a National Challenge School by the government - a status reserved for the worst performing educational establishments in the country.

As one parent put it, “How can she be appointed to turn around Moseley, when it's already enjoying better results than anything she achieved in her time as head at an inner city school?"

Birmingham Council says that in Thelma’s final year in 2004, Golden Hillock’s “valued added” score placed it 11th out of 75 city schools, and noted that Ofsted praised its excellent links with the local community.

That’s not enough to satisfy the disgruntled ex-parent governors who point out that the deputy head at Golden Hillock during Probert’s was a fresh faced youngster called Tim Boyes – who is, coincidentally, now acting head at Moseley School.

Cue mutterings that it’s not what you know, but who you know…



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