THE resignation of Isambard Community School headteacher Rachael Mattey has been desribed as a huge blow for local children by Mark Dempsey, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for North Swindon.

Mrs Mattey, who took over at the Redhouse school eight years ago, took a swipe at the coalition Government’s education reforms, spearheaded by Michael Gove MP, as she announced her retirement.

Responding to her claims they would send the school system ‘back to the 1970s’, North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson hit back claiming the changes were greatly needed.

Coun Dempsey said: “For a respected head teacher to leave one of our key schools is a sad indictment of the Tories’ education policies and is clear evidence that the Tories under David Cameron and Michael Gove are harming school standards.

“As Rachael Mattey has said, the Tories are taking us back to the 1970s.

“This includes an unprecedented school places crisis, increasing numbers of unqualified teachers and a curriculum that looks to the past rather than preparing our children for the future.”

Mrs Mattey will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the school until the summer break while the senior leadership team will be responsible for strategic direction.