THE governors at a secondary school on the edge of Taunton have been removed and replaced by Somerset County Council.

The development at Heathfield Community School comes as dozens of staff have quit shortly after a damning Ofsted report.

A teacher among classroom and administrative workers who have left in recent months said the chairman of the governors and his deputy resigned over certain issues.

They said a new interim chairman was appointed before the county, as the local education authority, stepped in.

The former teacher, who asked not to be named, said: "People have left over their issues with the leadership.

"The school is haemorrhaging brilliant staff and more have told me they are looking to leave.

"It's appalling and unfair on the children and the staff."

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This week there were 10 staff vacancies advertised on the Heathfield,website.

A spokesperson for Somerset County Council said: “Following December’s Ofsted inspection we have been supporting the Heathfield leadership team and governors to ensure rapid improvements are made.

"Governors are volunteers and it takes a significant time commitment and specific skills and knowledge to ensure a school is both challenged and supported.

"Therefore we applied to the Regional Schools Commissioner to appoint an Interim Executive Board made up of a very experienced and knowledgeable team of professionals with capacity to engage quickly and comprehensively with the leadership of the school and the local authority.

"We would like to thank the governors for their dedication and commitment to Heathfield and for engaging incredibly positively over recent months to secure a strong foundation for the future success of Heathfield Community School.”

Inspectors downgraded Heathfield from 'outstanding' on their previous visit to 'requires improvement' following a pre-Christmas check

Their report expressed concerns at "poor" behaviour by a minority of pupils who make "inappropriate comments", while some "hold intolerant views". Some pupils "experience discrimination" from peers.

Lateness and inappropriate language can go unchallenged and some pupils "are in the habit of missing lessons".

At the time, head teacher Peter Hoare said: "The local authority, governors and myself have already started the process of implementing a plan to ensure we support our students and staff in securing greater consistency across the curriculum.

"I recognise this report will be disappointing and unsettling, but I am confident we are already taking positive steps to ensure children receive the high standard of education they deserve."