THE head of Portland’s troubled academy has resigned, it has been confirmed this evening.

The sudden departure of Joss Hayes comes a month after the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy (IPACA) was put into special measures following a damning Ofsted report which rated it ‘inadequate’ across every measure.

While heavily critical of the school, inspectors did note that principal Mrs Hayes was taking ‘decisive action’, and noted that she had inherited a ‘number of difficult issues’.

Mrs Hayes was appointed in June 2015 although she took up the role full-time a few months later.

She took over after the shock resignation of ‘founding principal’ Alison Appleyard who had left just as the new school year was beginning in September 2014.

Mrs Hayes, who was at the helm when its new Maritime Campus was opened, said at the time of the Ofsted report she was determined to improve outcomes at the school and ensure a ‘healthy and successful future for the academy’.

In a message to parents afterwards, she told how she wanted to turn things around and that she and the staff were fully committed to making improvements.

But parents were told of her departure today in a text message from the chairman of governors, Kate Shaw.

Dorset County Council confirmed to the Echo that Mrs Hayes had left, and it was her decision to leave.

It is understood she left on Monday.

In a statement released through DCC, Kate Shaw said: “Joss Hayes had been with us as principal at IPACA since November 2015.

“Joss has decided to leave the academy with immediate effect. She leaves us with our thanks for the work she has done and our best wishes for the future. We will confirm the interim leadership team arrangements in the next few days.”

Cllr Deborah Croney, Dorset County Council’s Cabinet member for learning, skills and children’s safeguarding, added: “We remain committed to supporting IPACA as a sponsor and are continuing to work with the academy and the Regional Schools Commissioner to secure the best possible education for the children of Portland.”

Mrs Hayes was previously the founding principal of Route 39 Academy in North Devon and has more than 20 years teaching experience.

*IPACA parents launched a petition last year over plans for IPACA to join a national multi-academy trust. A month later, it was announced these plans would no longer be going ahead, though it came after news that the school’s sixth form was ‘under review’ and that the Department for Education had handed the academy a warning over its finances.