If you end up in special measures you are expected to do the right thing- resign. If you don't chances are you will be forced out. The board want to appear strong, decisive and determined to act. What simpler way to demonstrate this than by sacking the person in charge. Your offer of resignation may be rejected if the board disagrees with the inspection report's findings or conclusion. They may even recognise that it was their decisions or failure to follow your advice that led to this position. They may be sympathetic to your plea to be allowed the opportunity of putting things right. Trouble is however much confidence they have in you the label "special measures " always carries an implied criticism of the leadership and a suspicion that you will be in special measures for a very long time unless you change people at the top.
Head teachers know this only to well, directors of social services have been subjected to this for years and the same inspection regime now operates across the NHS. Whilst no one wants to protect incompetent head teachers/chief executives or allow under performing services to get away with it are we sure that chopping off heads is the best way to improve services? Are we not just adding to the climate of fear?
Of course one very good reason for replacing the leader is that in order to get out of special measures first you must admit you were right to be put there, easier to do if you weren't around at the time!
Blair McPherson author of Equipping managers for an uncertain future published by Russell House www.blairmcpherson.co.uk