The Mighty Quinn

Quinn

Until the local elections there was a very strong response to our “At stages in the future, people will have to account for their actions. I’m willing to answer for mine.” – Frank Field story which outlined how Tom Quinn (CEO) and operations manager (Sally Mitchell) at Holy Family Catholic Academy Trust had left amid an internal investigation concerned with a black hole in the Trust’s budget totalling several hundreds of thousands of pounds.

You may recall a statement from the Diocese of Shrewsbury, which founded the Wirral-based trust, which said Quinn and Mitchell left “with the mutual consent of the trustee directors” . Quinn also served as executive headteacher at the Holy Family’s St John Plessington Catholic College.

Our interest was piqued by the fact that Quinn and Mitchell are also respectively interim chief executive and interim chief finance officer at Frank Field Education Trust. Subsequently we’ve done further research and from what we’ve found out we think this one will run and run…

At the beginning of this school year, Field’s flagship academy in Ellesmere Port – rated inadequate by OFSTED – was competing against two good-rated local schools – Whitby and The Catholic High. At that point, Quinn was Field’s acting CEO.

These schools were inspected in February and March respectively. Whitby was downgraded to ‘Requires Improvement’ and The Catholic High has not yet published (why so long?)

These would appear to be both surprise judgements at schools where progress is in line with national averages – so both expected to be ‘good’. An unexpected levelling of the playing field in favour of Frank’s new academy?

As we now know Quinn is now fully appointed.

FACT: Lead inspector in the Whitby inspection, was Erica Sharman – Tom Quinn’s deputy at Plessington.

The other Senior HMI at both inspections was a certain Will Smith – a former History teacher from Manchester.  It’s probably just a coincidence that someone with the same name sat on the Plessington Multi Academy Trust (MAT) governing board briefly in 2017-18. Probably.

However it would appear to be a definite conflict of interest in the case of Sharman – her then boss Quinn could be said to have had a direct personal interest in the downgrading of these two Ellesmere Port schools which helps clear the path for Field’s expansionist desires. After all Expanding MATs need failing local schools so it helps to have a little sway with OFSTED. Could just be a coincidence.

We can only ask whether Department of Education adviser Quinn have used his influence in OFSTED against Ellesmere Port’s maintained schools in the interests of his own academies’ ambitions? Might this show of power have secured him the full-time job at Field’s Multi-Academy Trust (MAT)? He certainly seems to have accumulated vast influence and ruthlessly culled staff . Could the recent inspections be an act of retribution against the LA? Whatever the motivation it certainly helps to clear the path for Field’s expansionist desires. Expanding MATs need failing local schools so it helps to have a little sway with OFSTED. I expect already sizing up their next targets.

Much of the correspondence we have received about Quinn – which is echoed (pun intended) in the local press uses the ‘B’ word to describe his modus operandi . For clarification the ‘B’ word is ‘Bully’ although other ‘B’ words are available . From another perspective this might be perceived as ‘outstanding leadership’.

However we know he  has ruthlessly culled staff at schools he has taken over. Lots of crushed careers  whilst he has accumulated vast influence. In other words – just another Frank Field acolyte where you have to be an ugly bully or a useful idiot.

It wouldn’t surprise us if OFSTED were in Quinn’s pocket. His model of ‘leadership and control’ is desired at the very highest political levels, where academisation of all schools is openly desired. It’s just another cabal.

Then there’s Field’s co-founder, Tory donor David Ross, about which there are serious concerns. Ross even tried to get the OFSTED top job. Because he cares so much about education? Yeah, right! These people want to own private schools, run them with public money and keep the cream.

Which leaves us wondering  where all the money went at Plessington?…Just sayin’!

 

“At stages in the future, people will have to account for their actions. I’m willing to answer for mine.” – Frank Field

franky-knows

Well that’ll be a first! we all cry at Leaky Towers.

And what you might ask has inspired this latest portentous statement by the Birkenhead MP with a particular flair for melodrama?

Well, this is an interesting little story that just might become a very big story indeed. The quote above comes from an excellent piece in Schools Week titled DfE policy adviser leaves trust amid finance investigation. We admit it is not one of our regular reads but our readers are an educated bunch and one of them tipped us the wink about this particular story which concerns :

A chief executive and operations manager at an academy trust have left their posts amid an internal investigation over a budget black hole supposedly totalling several hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Tom Quinn, chief executive at Holy Family Catholic Multi-Academy Trust, left his post last week, alongside operations director Sally Mitchell.

Quinn is a member of the secondary headteacher reference group, a select group of “leading headteachers” that advise and influence the Department for Education’s policy development.

A statement from the Diocese of Shrewsbury, which founded the Wirral-based trust, said Quinn and Mitchell left “with the mutual consent of the trustee directors” on Thursday. Quinn also served as executive headteacher at the Holy Family’s St John Plessington Catholic College. The school’s chair of governors, John Williams, has also resigned.

Schools Week understands that an internal financial investigation is ongoing surrounding potentially several hundreds of thousands of pounds of cash missing from the trust’s budget. The trust would not comment on this allegation.

Quinn and Mitchell are also respectively interim chief executive and interim chief finance officer at Frank Field Education Trust.

Needless to say Wirral Leaks has already run several stories on the Frank Field Education Trust and the questionable connections that Frankenfield has made in the set up of this almighty (no pun intended) and monumental vanity project. Liverpool Echo have belatedly caught up with their Super head who left role a week ago amid investigation has ALREADY got a new top job story where Field comments  : “On behalf of the Board, we are looking forward tremendously to working with Tom in boosting the life chances of children who, without his ability, would have opportunities denied to them.” The Frank Field Education Trust itself did not comment on the little local difficulty involving Tom Quinn and his sudden departure from the Holy Family Catholic Multi-Academy Trust and St John Plessington Catholic College.

However Field is a lot more forthcoming in Schools Week. After the Frank Field Education Trust refused to comment on the grounds that there was an ongoing investigation the man himself was up to his usual tricks and when questioned about the Holy Family’s ongoing investigation, Field added:

As things unfold, we must try and understand why people have tried to bring down one of our great headmasters. The most important thing for me is to bind myself with Tom. I have never ever doubted his qualities, his brilliance in teaching, his honesty.

At stages in the future, people will have to account for their actions. I’m willing to answer for mine.

Oh, if only that were the case! We can only hope and pray that one day those final words will come back and bite Field hard and where it hurts most – his ego. All we do know that whilst at this stage we can’t comment on Mr Quinn’s qualities – good or bad – we do know that based on the dodgy acolytes and dubious chancers that Field has surrounded himself with over the years that he has consistently proved to be an appalling judgment of character…