THE head teacher of a troubled Southampton academy where pupils went on the rampage has resigned.

Ruth Johnson has quit her post as the head of Oasis Academy Mayfield, one of the city’s two new academies.

It comes just a month after Ms Johnson told the Daily Echo she wanted to make the a success of the school, formed from the merger of Grove Park and Woolston schools.

Staff at the academy were told of Ms Johnson's resignation in a meeting this morning with chairman of governors Billy Kennedy.

On Friday more than 100 parents turned up to a private meeting with Government universities minister and Southampton MP John Denham to voice their concerns about the academy.

Oasis Community Learning has installed John Toland as the new principal with Kevin Mahon as senior deputy principal. Both have been working at the school for the last month as part of Oasis’ education support team.

In a statement issued this morning by Oasis Community Learning, chief executive officer Steve Chalke said: “First, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ruth for her substantial contribution to the Academy’s planning and launch.

“Ruth has a passion for the needs of young people and we wish her well in her future plans.

“I’m delighted that John Toland, who has been working very hard as part of the Oasis education support team at Mayfield over the last few weeks, has agreed to continue his sterling work, now as principal.

“The welfare of our students will always remain our priority and we passionately believe they will benefit enormously from the new leadership team now in place at the school.”

Mr Chalke has today written to parents to explain the changes and has invited them to a series of meetings with Mr Toland, staff, the academy leadership team and academy council.

Mr Toland added: "I am delighted to have been appointed to this important position and am absolutely committed to making Mayfield a success.

"I want to assure parents, students and staff that I am fully focused on providing the best possible education for our children.

"I'd also like to thank Ruth and pay tribute to her hard work that I will look to build on."

Councillor Peter Baillie, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Learning, said: “I am confident that Oasis Community Learning is acting in the best interests of the students and staff at Mayfield.

"The Academy has a strong senior management team in place and Oasis Community Learning has made an excellent choice in the appointments of John Toland and Kevin Mahon to lead the school forward.

"We will continue to work closely with the Academy in this time of change in order to support the needs of Southampton’s young people.

"I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Ruth Johnson for the work she has done in the city and wish her luck in the future.”

Ms Johnson's resignation has been welcomed by Southampton's union bosses.

Ron Clooney, from the NASUWT teaching union, said: “Ruth Johnson’s resignation is good news for the community and staff of the academy.

“However the leaders of Oasis Learning Academy and Southampton local education authority should hang their heads in shame.

“Children in Year 11 whose exam year this is have had so much disruption it is unforgivable.

“All children deserve a bite at the cherry and many have had that taken away from them.”

Pete Sopowski, from Southampton NUT, said: “The unions will work with the new principal to encourage staff to stay and to make sure pupils don’t have their education disrupted.”

Ruth Johnson’s defiant message to parents and pupils at her troubled school in October.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3