Published: 15:50, 28 September 2021
| Updated: 18:20, 28 September 2021
A search for a new head teacher is under way at a primary school where half of the staff left their posts.
New management is being brought in with a merger ongoing between two trusts to run Halling Primary School, near Rochester.
Former head Soumaya Selmi took "time away for personal reasons" after a formal review investigated reasons behind the high turnover and complaints from former employees at the village school.
Now, executive head teacher Tim Muggridge, who also runs the nearby Cliffe Woods Primary School, has told parents the school is looking for a new head to take over at Halling.
The post was advertised in September and Mr Muggridge said in a letter to parents they would be updated when progress had been made with an appointment.
He said: "We are really keen to attract the right candidate and continue the amazing work that has gone in to making the school a special place.
"When I have any news on who the successful candidate is, and indeed when they will be officially starting, I will let you know.
"Until then the leadership of the school will continue as it currently is."
Between January last year and the end of the summer term this year, out of a total of 45 staff, at least 22 left.
Meanwhile, discussions for a merger between the Cliffe Woods Academy Trust (CWAT) and the Gravesend-based Aletheia Anglican Academies Trust (AAAT) continue.
"We are really keen to attract the right candidate and continue the amazing work that has gone in to making the school a special place."
Chiefs at AAAT, which runs a network of schools around Gravesham and Dartford including secondary St George's CoE School in Gravesend, were appointed by the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) in April to lead a review after CWAT requested "independent support".
Nick Thomas, operations manager for AAAT, previously told the Messenger the trust had been providing leadership support throughout the final term of the last academic year.
A consultation was carried out with parents about the proposals to merge the two trusts with no objections.
The formal report by the RSC setting out the findings is yet to be released.
Parents raised concerns about the turnover of staff in March.
Anger among former staff was triggered after a letter to parents from CWAT bosses questioned if former staff were “willing and able to rise to the challenge” of implementing improvements the trust says it had identified after taking charge.
Former employees said they felt they had to leave citing a culture-shift within the school after complaints had not been addressed.