Dismayed parents of students at Hartsdown school in Margate have taken to social media to share a text and email slamming head teacher Matthew Tate and a job advert placed in The Guardian.
The message calls Mr Tate “ a passive, aggressive worm” and a “plonker” in response to the wording of an advert for a new Head of Science which claims teaching of the subject has been “poor” and the department should be in “special measures.”
The advert states: “Hartsdown Academy needs a Department Head to rebuild its Science Department. Results are well below expectations and teaching has been poor.
“As a result, the attitude of students towards the subject has diminished, resulting in disappointing behaviour for learning. The Department effectively requires special measures – a committed, ambitious and talented senior leader, with the freedom to innovate and take some risks where necessary – but with a mandate to place science back at the heart of school life, where it deserves to be.”
In response the message sent out to some parents says: “What sort of idiot publicly declares parts of his own school should be placed under special measures and then advocates the need for a head teacher calibre candidate to sort his own problems out? Furthermore, science did rather better than certain other areas within the school, so what is he really saying about the rest of us?”
Many parents were bemused to get the message and some have defended the wording of the advert as stating “the truth” and just attempting to “recruit the best.”
Paul Luxmoore, executive head of the Coastal Academies Trust which covers schools including Hartsdown, said it was necessary in a professional recruitment advert to tell the truth and lay out both the positives and the challenges of the job.
He said: “We have used this type of advert for all the Trust schools for years. What the advert says about the science department is true, it is struggling.
“It is a professional advert and we have to say it as it is but it is also really positive about Thanet and the school. We have to be honest and tell fellow professionals the truth and actually this type of advert attracts people who want to come and make a difference.”
A school spokesman confirmed Hartsdown is recruiting for the role, adding:”We are currently investigating a malicious communication which sought to bring the school into disrepute and cannot comment further at this time.”
Ofsted is due to carry out an inspection at the school tomorrow (March 8). The lead inspector will be Clare Gillies, The last inspection was in 2014 when the school received a rating of good with outstanding features.