An award-winning headteacher who was suspended after saying some of her staff were “sat at home doing nothing” during lockdown said she has received support from around the country.
Pauline Wood, head of the “outstanding” Grange Park Primary in Sunderland, faces claims she brought the school into disrepute for her remarks, made on a local radio station.
She faced disciplinary action for saying a minority of staff were spending more time on Netflix than working at home, and alleged they spoke out when they were asked to come to school three days a week.
Wood, a married mother-of-three, had already handed in her notice at the school and was due to leave at the end of the summer term.
She accused her staff of bragging that they were spending “more time watching Netflix” at home than they were working during the coronavirus pandemic as they were only coming in to school two days a week.
Wood claimed she has received nationwide support since the furore.
Appearing on ITV’s This Morning, she said she was unable to speak to students, parents or staff at the school due to her suspension.
She said: “But having read things on Facebook and Twitter and in the press, the vibe I’m getting is that the parents are 100% behind me because they do appreciate what I’ve done for the school, taking a deprived area from one of the worst performing in the local authority to always in the top 10, and we’ve had five major accolades, and we’ve had over 100 schools visit us to see how we get the results that we get in an area like ours.
“And these are people from all over the country.”
She added: “The messages of support that I’ve had over the weekend from people in education, headteachers and teachers that do go the extra mile and should be proud to be in the profession, they’re saying: ‘It’s about time somebody let the public know what it’s really like.'”
The head is now on gardening leave and will not get to say goodbye to students.
She said: “I feel quite cheated that it looks like I’m leaving under a bit of a cloud.
“I was just speaking the truth and just standing up for what a lot of people are thinking – parents, children, educators and good teachers.
“And I’m being denied the right to see my children.”
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