A head teacher removed from her post after a damning Ofsted report has received an award... from the council that ousted her.
Lesley Ellis disappeared from Ashford's North School in February after an Ofsted report declared it inadequate in every area.
Yet last Thursday Mrs Ellis was among teachers picking up awards at Kent County Council’s Inspire event, linked to the 2012 Olympic Games, where she was praised for her leadership skills.
After the ceremony she smiled as she posed for photographers, clutching her certificate, which read: “Awarded in recognition of your personal contribution to developing a range of exciting opportunities for young people in Kent 2008 to 2014 through sport, the arts and education.”
Stephanie Holt, head of sport and physical activities services at KCC, said she was aware Mrs Ellis was no longer head teacher at the North School but her department wanted to recognise the "phenomenal" work she did while she was there.
She said: “Our awards date from 2008 to the present and she had been such as phenomenal leader from 2008 to 2013 we wanted to recognise her for all her work. Her leadership really has been exceptional.”
Mrs Ellis’ certificate said the award was given for outstanding personal contribution to Kent’s London 2012 Games Legacy Programme.
Ms Holt explained the North School in Essella Road, was a lead school in the Inspire programme, aimed at giving children the chance to take part in Olympic-style sports before, during and after London 2012, and Mrs Ellis was tasked with encouraging other primary, secondary and special schools in the Ashford district to get involved.
She was also key in organising the Kent School Games, which saw 35,000 youngsters from across the county competing in 35 sports at varying levels and was used as a model for the national School Games programme.
The North School received an additional award, picked up by teacher Stefan Eede, in recognition of its role as a lead school.
The certificate said: “Awarded in recognition of the support and leadership of your staff and pupils in developing a range of exciting opportunities for young people in Kent 2008 to 2014 though sport, the arts and education.”
Olympic gold medallist Lizzy Yarnold MBE and former Olympic swimmer Chris Cook spoke at the awards ceremony at Oakwood House, Maidstone.