Anne Hudson Head Teacher Personal Statement

The group are thought to be chanting about beleaguered headteacher Michelle Brindle

The headteacher, whose battle with her own staff forced a school to close this week, left her previous job after she was accused of bullying'.

Michelle Brindle has been at the centre of a storm at Bollin Primary School in Bowdon, Cheshire, resulting in 16 grievances filed against her, teachers going on strike and parents launching petitions and protests against her leadership.

Trafford Council intervened and closed the school yesterday morning until further notice.

The local authority, who insist Mrs Brindle has not been sacked or suspended, refused to say whether she was at the school today.

But parents claim their children were told, at an assembly yesterday morning, that deputy head Hayley Marshall was to take over the reins.

And a video emerged which appeared to show staff and parents toasting each other at an out-of-hours party where they chanted 'getting sacked in the morning'. 

Before arriving at the Cheshire school, Mrs Brindle was headteacher at Wigan's Golborne St Thomas' Christian school, where she was accused of bullying.

Businessman Howard Morris spoke to the Mail after hearing about problems at Bollin.

He claimed his wife, Caroline, was driven out of her job as deputy head of Mrs Brindle's previous school, by her 'bullying' style.

He compared Mrs Brindle to Roald Dahl's Miss Trunchbull, who terrorises the school in Matilda. 'She is threatening and a bully – she's almost like Miss Trunchbull,' he said. 

Today, the school remained closed for pupils as teachers and staff were locked in an emergency meeting with Trafford Council. Pictured is a member of staff leaving the school

It's understood that parents have not been able to get any information from the school or council about the situation and have been relying on news reports to keep up to date

Relationships between staff, parents and governors are also said to have become 'toxic' since the 40-year-old took over Bollin Primary School, with one parent likening her 'dictatorship' style to North Korea.

Problems are said to have begun when Mrs Brindle paid for a mock Ofsted inspection. It led to new rules being brought in which teachers say greatly increased their workload.

Children reported seeing teachers crying in corridors, and a long-serving member of staff was allegedly suspended.

Fourteen teachers and two assistants lodged grievances with the governing body, which are so far unresolved. Eight governors also resigned. 

Worried parents then set up a WhatsApp online messaging group to discuss what was going on at the school, which was rated 'outstanding' in 2007.

But when Mrs Brindle, 40, heard they were talking over the internet, she sent letters to the parents of all 450 pupils, warning she would sue if her reputation was harmed.

She wrote: 'A number of social media posts have been made which are damaging to the reputation of the head and the school. Some are potentially libellous and leave individuals vulnerable to legal action.'

A mother, who wished to remain anonymous, said: 'She's come here and ruined our school. We're an outstanding school. I just feel like she's tried to sabotage the school. 

'At the end of the day Trafford have said she has still got her position, she is still in the school but I swear we will not put our kids in that school with that headteacher. 

'We've fought too hard, things have gone too far. She's like a dragon.'   

Earlier this month, 17 of Bollin's 21 teachers walked out in protest.  More than 900 people signed a 'no confidence' petition and Trafford Council last week issued a warning about the way the school is run.

Peter Middleman, from the National Union of Teachers, said members had met with the head, but reached no compromise. 

The incidents appear to have come to a head after Trafford Council intervened and closed the school yesterday morning. 

Today, the school remained closed for pupils as teachers and staff were locked in an emergency meeting with Trafford Council.

One man who came out of the building said: 'We've been told not to speak, I'm afraid I can't say what was going on. I can't comment sorry.'

Some teachers could be seen removing boxes and musical instruments from the main reception and putting them into the boot of their cars. 

It's understood that parents have not been able to get any information from the school or council about the situation and have been relying on news reports to keep up to date.

People were seen entering and leaving Bollin Primary School today, as it remained closed 

Only a few people were seen on the premises as the school remained closed for pupils while teachers and staff were locked in an emergency meeting with Trafford Council

Some staff made their way along to the school as meetings continued in the absence of pupils

One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, told MailOnline: 'I respect that Trafford Council will have their processes, but all the children were told that Mrs Marshall was taking the role at an assembly yesterday.

'The council have not given us any answers - they are just saying she has not been suspended or sacked. We don't know when the children will be back at school.

'The kids are all very upset by it all and we just hope it gets resolved soon.

'But I'm willing to take a little bit of pain to say bye to her. It got the point where parents and teachers felt they weren't able to do or say anything - this is not North Korea, this is Bowdon in Cheshire. 

'What you saw in the video was the relief of the teachers. They were obviously letting off a bit of steam and somehow the video has gone out.

'But the party wasn't anything nasty. It was a spontaneous get together, because in the last few months they have been crying and been off sick at times due to everything going on.' 

Some teachers could be seen removing boxes and musical instruments from the main reception and putting them into the boot of their cars today

Around 70 parents also protested outside the school. 

Parents were contacted to collect their children and say they haven't been told when the school will open again. 

Teachers captured in the video are understood to have been celebrating an apparent victory in their battle against the leadership at Bollin.

And it appears that those at the party believed Mrs Brindle was being ousted.  

An investigation into the video and the circumstances surrounding the footage has been launched by the council, a spokesman said. 

Other parents have been divided by the contents of the video.

One described it as 'an orderly celebration following a difficult few months' at the school.

Another, who asked not to be identified, said she was 'disgusted' by the video and its contents.

The parent said: 'I am absolutely disgusted and ashamed by it, and now we are having to suffer for the consequences.' 

Problems are said to have begun when Mrs Brindle paid for a mock Ofsted inspection. It led to new rules being brought in which teachers say greatly increased their workload.

Children reported seeing teachers crying in corridors, and a long-serving member of staff was allegedly suspended. 

Fourteen teachers and two assistants lodged grievances with the governing body, which are so far unresolved. Eight governors also resigned. 

Worried parents then set up a WhatsApp online messaging group to discuss what was going on at the school, which was rated 'outstanding' in 2007.

But when Mrs Brindle, 40, heard they were talking over the internet, she sent letters to the parents of all 450 pupils, warning she would sue if her reputation was harmed.

She wrote: 'A number of social media posts have been made which are damaging to the reputation of the head and the school. Some are potentially libellous and leave individuals vulnerable to legal action.'

Staff have filed sixteen grievances since September and the row reached a head this week when teachers staged a strike. Around 70 parents also protested outside the school

A spokeswoman from Trafford Council said: 'Trafford Council and the Governors of The Bollin Primary School have agreed to close the school with immediate effect. 

'This decision has not been taken lightly but is necessary to ensure the safe operation of the school in the light of concerns about the reduced capacity of the senior leadership at the school. The school will be closed until further notice, although the council reinforced its priority is to put measures in place so the school can reopen as soon as possible.

'The council is also aware of a film that is circulating in relation to the school and is investigating this further.

'Whilst we appreciate this matter will be a disruption to the pupils and family life, it is of the utmost importance to safeguard and protect pupils at the school.' 

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Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology at Saint Louis University focuses on exploring and understanding the complexities of the mind and human behavior through research, specialized programs and a vibrant learning community.

SLU has the oldest psychology department at a Jesuit university and has offered psychology courses for more than 100 years. Students pursuing a psychology degree will find support in approximately 300 fellow undergraduate students and 100 fellow graduate students, making it one of the most popular programs at SLU. More than 25 faculty members provide mentorship and research opportunities for students, as well.

Psychology offers you the chance to explore your own interests and develop your abilities through research and study. Based in a strong liberal arts background, areas of study can venture into social psychology, organizational psychology, educational psychology and psychology and the law. Regardless of what courses you choose as part of the program, you will develop evaluation skills and an enhanced understanding of yourself, uniquely preparing you to make a difference.

The department’s two centers, the Center for the Application of Behavioral Sciences and the Psychological Services Center, promote community service. You can also gain valuable, hands-on experience by assisting on faculty or graduate research projects, as well as conducting your own research. Get involved in student psychology group, Psi Chi, to meet classmates, explore the field and to be eligible for certain student awards.

Degree Programs

Mission Statement

Our mission is to educate students in the discipline of psychology and its applications.

We accomplish this by integrating empirical science, theory and practice, focused toward the understanding of the behavior and experience of individuals and groups, including the family, organizations and institutions.

We encourage intellectual curiosity, critical thinking and ethical responsibility in our teaching, research, and practice. Our commitment to value-based, holistic education and our enthusiasm for psychology is realized in the products of our research, in our graduates, and in service to others locally, nationally and globally.

We seek to contribute to the improvement of the human condition and to promote human welfare through understanding past knowledge, discovering new knowledge, and disseminating our knowledge through teaching, publication, and service.

We educate students to be professionals and challenge them to be ethically responsible, to be committed to serving others and to respect human diversity in all its forms.

We seek to sustain ourselves as a community of scholars, in which all are teachers and all are learners, in an environment that fosters scholarly, professional and personal growth.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of Psychology’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee was created with the intention of understanding and appreciating individual differences and human diversity in all its forms, encouraging inclusiveness and respect in the work the department performs. The committee hosts activities and speakers each year with this goal in mind.

The committee was established in 1990 and has since provided support and guidance for the department's inclusion and diversity mission. Faculty members from all programs in the department serve on the committee, either on the consultation or curriculum subcommittees.

Terri Weaver serves as the committee chair and Kira Hudson Banks serves as the committee chair elect.

Curriculum Subcommittee

The goal of this subcommittee is to enhance the integration of diversity and inclusion discourse into course instruction and training to provide students and faculty with relevant knowledge and experience about cultural and individual diversity as they relate to the field of psychology.

Members: Eddie Clark, Kristin Kiddoo, Challis Kinnucan (subcommittee chair), Janet Kuebli

Consultation Subcommittee

The goals of this subcommittee are to provide guidance and resources to faculty, students and staff when diversity and inclusion questions or concerns arise related to the learning environment in the department or the recruitment and retention of faculty and students.

Members: Kira Hudson Banks, Cort Rudolph, Terri Weaver, Lisa Willoughby

Speaker Series

Committee members have initiated a speaker series as well as a number of activities to facilitate awareness of and exposure to diversity and inclusion. Past speakers have included Derek Avery, Ph.D. of Temple University, Kim Case, Ph.D. of the University of Houston-Clear Lake, and Rocio Rivadeneyra, Ph.D., of Illinois State University. Past topics have included “Diversity and Discrimination in the Workplace,” “Teaching Transgender Across the Curriculum,” and “Where are the Women Scientists?”


Giving to the Department

Want to give back to the Saint Louis University Department of Psychology? There are many ways to help undergraduate and graduate students in the department, including through the following funds:

  • The Department Development Fund provides aid throughout the department, including through undergraduate research projects.
  • The Napoli Endowed Teaching Award Fund recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding teachers in training in our graduate programs.
  • The Severin Endowed Fund supports graduate student research.

Any of these funds can be designated when the University contacts you by telephone or mail in annual fund drives. You can also give to the Department of Psychology online. 

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