Ex-school watchdog infuriates parents over Facebook posts
The former chairman of Ofsted is facing calls to resign as a school’s chair of governors after discussing her sex life on a public Facebook page.
Zenna Atkins, 49, boasted in one post that she had offered to perform a sex act on a “very handsome man”, and in another she posted a picture of herself making a lewd gesture.
Miss Atkins was head of Ofsted, the schools watchdog, from 2006 to 2010 and is now the chair of governors at the Portslade Aldridge Community Academy school in Brighton.
Her Facebook posts enraged parents at the school who said their own children would be disciplined for publishing such “absolute filth”.
One said: “I find it appalling this lady has these things on her Facebook page for all to see, including students.
"I do not believe such a person should be in a position of authority. In addition, I believe this is a safeguarding issue and should be investigated for a breach of professional conduct."
Another parent said: "It's not a good message to be sending out. If they have a job like that, it's their duty not to be posting stuff out like that. It questions their professionalism."
One of Miss Atkins’ posts on the social networking site said the “handsome” man to whom she had offered a sexual service had replied: “Nah ... I'd rather watch Jools Holland!”
She added: “How sad is that!” The post got 23 likes – seen as marks of approval – from her Facebook friends.
Another posting depicted a photo of three people sharing a bed under a joke which began: “Three in a bed and the little one said ...”
Miss Atkins also posted a photo of herself in a hospital bed sticking one finger up to the camera.
In 2010, she caused outrage when she suggested that all primary schools should have "one pretty naff teacher" so that youngsters could learn how to "play" authority.
Miss Atkins left school with few qualifications but went on to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Portsmouth University.
She then won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of The Year award in 2000 and became Ofsted chairman in September 2006.
The influential role saw her take charge of an operational budget of £280 million, 3,000 staff and the delivery of 47,000 inspections a year.
From 2010 to 2013, Miss Atkins was the chief executive of profitmaking education body Wey Education.
Ms Atkins later apologies for any offences caused by her jokes.
“I have inadvertently caused quite a stir today! If I have caused any offence by what I posted on FB then I am truly sorry,” she tweeted.
“Somehow my FB account settings went to public against my wishes. My jokes/comments were only meant to be seen by my friends.
Somehow my FB account settings went to public against my wishes. My jokes/comments were only meant to be seen by my friends. 2/2— zenna atkins (@zennaatkins) February 12, 2015
“My priority, is to support and improve the academy, and if any parents are concerned, please contact me via the school. “
A spokesman for the Aldridge Foundation, which sponsors the Brighton school, said: “Neither the academy, the foundation, nor the local authority nominated governor has received any complaint regarding this.
“Zenna Atkins' professional social network profile can be viewed publicly on LinkedIn. She has confirmed that her Facebook account is intended for a private network of close friends and family.
“She and her fellow governors talk with parents on a regular basis and take their views very seriously.”