Three governors have been suspended from the Ilfracombe Infants and Nursery School amid calls for a meeting to resolve the current turmoil.

Today (February 7) it was confirmed the three were suspended for six months from the federation which runs the school – which sank from an Ofsted rating of 'outstanding' to 'requires improvement' in 2017 - and Goodleigh Primary School.

It follows a request by three Ilfracombe governors that the 392-pupil infant school leave the federation, which has prompted a governors' meeting on Friday, February 15.

The three suspended governors have since been named on the school website as Andy Bradley, Geoff Tonkin and Iris Watson.

It is not known if they are the same three governors who submitted the request to leave the federation.

In a letter to each governor, the chair of governors, Nadine Sampson, wrote: “The board's decision was based on the proposal that you have been acting in a way that is inconsistent with the ethos of the federation and that these actions were bringing the federation, the governing board and the role of governor into disrepute.

“The governing board did not take this action lightly, but felt that it would be in the best interests for the future of the federation, and the ability of the board and the leadership to take both the schools forward in a spirit of co-operation and mutual success.”

Parents only knew of the proposal to 'defederate' following a short message in the February 1 school newsletter, asking for their views before February 15.

Parent Terry Elliott took to Facebook at the weekend calling on others to submit their views to the school before February 15 and saying she felt the federation was not working, with a shared headteacher, Claire Grant, who had to divide her time between both schools.

Terry told the Gazette the school should have a meeting with parents before the deadline to properly explain the pros and cons of being part of a federation, to be able to voice their concerns and make a choice once they had all the information.

She said the federation was obviously not working, as the Ofsted rating showed and she did not see how the headteacher could govern two very different schools at the same time.

In her Facebook post she said 16 members of staff had left the school by last September, with more since and that others were 'deeply unhappy'.

She added: “The last thing is the change of ethos, it has always been a very nurturing and creative environment, lots of song, dance and art, but it worked, children still got results and it was an outstanding school.

“Now it's very driven with the 'three Rs' and I feel that is not suiting the children of Ilfracombe.

“Really a school of that size and diversity requires a full time head on site. The teachers and support staff are amazing, this is nothing to do with them and they are working really hard.

“There are lots of questions parents want to ask so it would be good if they did hold a meeting to answer them.”