School governors lambasted over headteacher’s absence

Absent: Ian Charles
Absent: Ian Charles
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PARENTS of children who attend the Peele Community College in Long Sutton have accused its governing body of “a complete and utter cop-out” for refusing to explain the continuing absence of headteacher Ian Charles.

One parent, who has asked to remain anonymous, said the lack of communication from the governing body is unacceptable and is leading to rumours circulating about Mr Charles’ absence.

“Several hundred pupils and their parents are directly affected by Mr Charles not being here and they deserve to know what is going on. This lack of information shows a complete and utter cop-out from the governors,” said the parent.

Last week’s Spalding Guardian reported rumours that Mr Charles had been suspended, with staff told the previous week he would be absent. A letter, signed by chairman of governors Paul Grooms, went out to parents saying that in Mr Charles’ absence, Simon Gilman will be acting as headteacher.

The Lincolnshire Free Press understands that Mr Charles’ name has already been removed from the headteacher’s office and replaced by Mr Gilman’s. It is also understood that more than one of the parent governors has resigned.

Yesterday, Mr Grooms was not available for an interview to confirm or deny these allegations.

Mr Charles’ name has also been removed from the school sign but on Friday Mr Grooms told the Free Press there was “nothing sinister” in it, saying it had been vandalised. Within ten minutes of our call, the sign had been taken down.

The parent added: “Mr Charles is well liked and respected by parents and staff.

“He has worked tirelessly to remove the financial debts of the college and to move on from the bad Ofsted report received by the college recently.

“I think if he had been left to get on with it he would have turned the college around.

“It simply isn’t acceptable to keep everyone in the dark – children, parents and the wider community need to know why Mr Charles is absent.

“He deserves to have the rumours stopped as to why he isn’t around.”

Mr Charles’ absence follows last month’s story of the departure of the school’s head of English.

She was accused of falsifying grades on GCSE English Language and Literature course work and failing to set the necessary work.