David Sheppard, Prendergast head, is a liar

David Sheppard, executive head of the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools, covering Prendergast, is a liar. He lied to parents, then to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and, finally, in open court to the judge in a first tier tribunal, Fiona Henderson.

David Sheppard

Liar: David Sheppard, executive headteacher, Prendergast

Journalists rarely get to write this kind of thing because UK libel law requires such a high burden of proof that it is often safer to leave out uncomfortable facts. But in this case I have a legal ruling as evidence. It follows a Freedom of Information (F0I) request I made back in May 2015. It has taken this long to get a ruling.

The ruling says:

48 i a) We are satisfied that further information was held that was in scope and was not disclosed to the Commissioner, this now forms part of the closed bundle.
b) The document attached to Mr Wheal’s email of 29.7.16 fell within the scope of request 5 and should have been disclosed to Mr Wheal.

Basically the school repeatedly said information did not exist. For example it said it sought advice from lawyers verbally and therefore had no written record of the request and no written response from the lawyers. They were later forced to admit the emails did exist and show the judge.

Everyone knows you get that sort of thing in writing. He lied to them the ICO and the judge.

Truth, Honour, Freedom and Courtesy

That’s the motto of Prendergast school, the original school in the federation.

I have said before that I felt he, and the governors, were not fit to lead an educational establishment. I have now written to the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening. It’s up to her what she does.

Justine Greening,

I attach a recent legal ruling in a first tier tribunal that clearly shows that David Sheppard, Executive Headteacher of Prendergast schools in Lewisham (the Leathersellers’ Federation), repeatedly lied to conceal documents and emails. He lied to parents, then to the Information Commissioner’s Office than then in court during direct questioning by the judge, Ms Fiona Henderson.

In my view such a liar is not fit to hold the office of headteacher. It is gross misconduct and he should be summarily dismissed without notice, without pay, and without compensation or pension.

I leave it for you to deal with as you see fit.

I have copied in my MP, the mayor of Lewisham and the clerk of the Leathersellers livery company.

The legal ruling

Not being secret


East London Lines: first to report academy status

Governors of Prendergast school – the Leathersellers’ Federation of Schools – have refused to provide details under the Freedom of Information Act about their decision to apply for academy status.

Yet they deny secrecy, claiming to have been open and transparent.

The answers they have provided, along with published minutes and replies to emails over the past five months or so, suggest that the timetable of events was as follows: Continue reading

Animal farm


Wellbeloved’s sausage and bacon

After 31 and half years of being a vegetarian, this month, I started eating meat and fish again. It wasn’t a rushed decision. It was something I had been considering for years. And no one thing triggered it. There were lots of reasons.

The first reason for eating meat was that I no longer believed my original premise for becoming vegetarian – that it was morally wrong to kill animals. I had not believed that for many years. But the status quo was that I was a vegetarian and I needed to be convinced to proactively change. Continue reading

Different strokes

On 6 November 2010 I had a stroke – a mini stroke, a lacuna (or lacunar) stroke to be exact. I’m fine. I had no paralysis, no loss of strength, no loss of balance and I did not black out. I could hold a pen and write. In fact, I got back on my motorbike and rode for an hour.

I was in France, in Normandy, with some xrv.org.uk pals. We stopped for a coffee and, as I swung my right leg off the bike to stand up, something just didn’t feel right. It was as if I had a dead leg. My right hand then felt like it had pins and needle. I just thought I’d got cold and needed to warm up.

Rode back

After riding back to our farmhouse (La Basse Cour) – I had total control of the bike but could not feel the heated grips working on my right hand – I jumped in a hot bath to thaw out.

But the symptoms remained. And when I went to dry myself I realised the right side of my face was similarly tingly and lacking in sensation.

Travel insurance

The travel insurance company SOS International (on behalf of Chartis Insurance) organised for me to go to the university hospital at Caen, when I ended up for five days while they did a range of tests, including a CT scan, an MRI, a vascular scan of my main arteries and a heart check-up.

They then insisted on driving me in an ambulance all the way home, through the tunnel, delaying my departure by an extra night.

NHS resources

British doctors are repeating all the tests again, which will be great if they find something missed in France but seem a waste of scarce NHS resources if they don’t.

Imagine a little garlic-breathed French man in stripy shirt and black beret with onions round his neck telling an NHS doctor that all his work would been to be redone properly in France later. The NHS doctor would be furious.

I don’t have overly high blood pressure so I am not being treated for that (mine at worst appears to be about 140/92 and often more like 128/86). I am on aspirin to thin the blood. The hospital has sent blood samples for special tests in case there is some impurity that caused the stroke.

But they never know the cause of 25%.

I have been working very hard, so I intend to cut down on that. And the death of my nephew in July led to a lot of stress. Who knows if these things had an impact?

Ill abroad

The French hospital was great – very much like an NHS hospital with fantastic, committed, cheerful and helpful staff, and the occasional cock-up where you are left in a waiting room for hours on end with no information.

But being vegetarian was too much for them. Even a dietician seemed not to understanding of the concept or how to provide a balanced diet – Google it, for crying out loud.

Oh, and my travel insurance repatriated me but said it was not responsible for repatriating my vehicle. My breakdown insurance would have brought it back had it broken down. But a working vehicle with a broken driver falls between two policies. I believe my broker has been negligent.

New Media

Facebook and Twitter were a Godsend. Many work colleagues kept informed about me and kept me up to speed using Twitter, while Facebook enabled me to have conversations with many friends, all at once.

My rugby club, Charlton Park, picked up on my stroke via Facebook and put a notice on its website, which led to contact from old colleagues via LinkedIn and email.

Vodafone charged me about £10 a day for the data charges in France run up on my Blackberry. Oh, and French hospitals have none of those silly UK bans on using mobile phones. I had mine with me the whole time.

Links (new windows)

Tech no no

This morning a power cut brought down the servers, preventing me from posting my early morning news to the content management system (CMS) of the websites for which I write.

But that is nothing compared with the technical no-no yesterday.

A woman sent an explicit and personal email meant for her boyfriend to me by mistake. Continue reading

Coping strategy

I had a bath this morning. I doubt I am any cleaner than the extensive soap and flannel body wash I had standing on one leg each day since I left hospital after my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee operation on Monday. But I feel completely different.

And how you feel is vital. When you have an injury, illness or something else that knocks you back – especially as a freelance, potentially alone for long periods – you need a strategy to cope. Continue reading