Outrage as disgraced ‘super head’ Jo Shuter hired by King Solomon High School in Barkingside

Jo Shuter

Jo Shuter - Credit: Archant

A Redbridge councillor has slammed a school’s decision to appoint a disgraced former “super head” who has been investigated over misuse of pupil’s funds.

Cllr Alan Weinberg has resigned as a governor of King Solomon High School in Forest Road, Barkingside after a majority vote ruled in favour of appointing Jo Shuter as the school’s interim headteacher.

Cllr Weinberg, who represents Clayhall ward and is cabinet member for children’s services, told the Recorder the council disagrees with the decision, voted for by 10 out of 12 governors.

“I was one who voted against the decision,” he said.

“I immediately resigned from the governing body. I am the local authority and I did not support the appointment.”

Cllr Weinberg, a governor for eight years, said he felt it was wrong for the appointment to be made while inquiries into Ms Shuter were ongoing.

Ms Shuter was headteacher of the Quintin Kynaston Community Academy in Marlborough Hill, St John’s Wood for 11 years, until she resigned in June following a damning report into her spending.

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The Department for Education investigation into finances between January 2011 and 2012 found “extravagant” spending, including staff meetings at five-star hotels and lavish birthday celebrations.

The report said one overnight meeting at the Grove Hotel, in Chandlers Cross, cost £8,259, while £1,579 of academy money was spent on chairs for the school delivered to Ms Shuter’s home.

Issues were also raised over declarations of business interests, personal travel costs, expenses claims and the employment of family members.

Ms Shuter is due to join King Solomon High School on September 2, following the departure of headteacher Spencer Lewis.

Chair of the Governors, Stephanie Sollosi, said: “We are absolutely thrilled that Jo Shuter is to join us - her track record in achieving outstanding educational results is inspirational.

“The Governors are confident that she will be able to build on the achievements of Mr Lewis and lead King Solomon High School into an exciting and successful new era, whilst continuing to promote the Jewish ethos which is at the heart of our school.”

Simon Harris was originally appointed as interim head by the school in June for the autumn term.

At the time, the school would not confirm or deny it was in contact with Jo Shuter.

Ms Shuter said: “I would also like to thank the governors for their trust and confidence in me.

“I look forward to achieving their vision of turning King Solomon into the best school that it can possibly be.”