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New school governor 'turned away'

TURNED AWAY: DESMOND JADDOO

A CHAMPION of civic engagement, who has spent the past two years encouraging African Caribbeans to become more involved in their community, has been turned away from a school were he had been appointed as a governor four months ago.

Desmond Jaddoo says he has been disrespected by Glenmead School in Great Barr, Birmingham, after arriving for his first meeting on July 3. He had been officially appointed as a local authority governor in March.

But the former elected Mayoral candidate was told he was “no longer needed” by one of the governors who said they were changing the structure of the school’s governance.

Jaddoo, founder of Birmingham Empowerment Forum, has described the episode as “a major bombshell” saying he has been given no proper explanation for his rejection.

“I’m furious, but also hurt,” he said. “I’ve been totally disrespected by this shabby treatment. I feel like the last generation of African Caribbean people must have felt when they turned up at church all dressed up only to be turned away.”

However, Birmingham City Council has been quick to pass it off as ‘a mis-communication which we will be looking into.”

A spokesperson told The Voice: “We will be speaking to the head teacher to clarify the situation. We value and appreciate all our volunteer governors and once we have established what has happened in this case, we will be speaking to Mr Jaddoo.”

Jaddoo a former city council housing officer, says he was appointed as a governor on March 20 this year and was given a certificate confirming this.

He was contacted by the clerk to the governors on April 19 asking him if he could attend a meeting three days later on April 22. With such short notice he explained this was not possible as he had a prior engagement and asked for the date of the next meeting which was July 3.

He also requested a meeting with the head and a short tour of the school before this date, but the school did not come back to him.

Jaddoo said: “When I arrived for the governors’ meeting on July 3 at 6pm I was told to wait in reception. The head teacher walked passed me three times but failed to acknowledge me. By 6.25pm one of the governors emerged to tell me my services were no longer required because they were changing the structure of their governance.

“However, I know they had voted to restructure their governance prior to my appointment. I was simply told that my apologies for the April 22 meeting had not been passed on to the governors.

“It just makes me wonder how many other African Caribbean people have been appointed and then turned away with no notice, no warning and no public accountability.

“When our children’s educational performance continues to be questioned, I find this treatment unbelievable.

“I spend my time encouraging our community to become civically involved and registered to vote and this is what happens. It just makes me all the more determined to continue my campaign.”

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