School refuses to explain headteacher’s absence

This picture of the frontage of The Peele Community College in Long Sutton was taken on Wednesday. It shows that headteacher Ian Charles' name has been blotted off the sign. Photo: SG090512-456MD
This picture of the frontage of The Peele Community College in Long Sutton was taken on Wednesday. It shows that headteacher Ian Charles' name has been blotted off the sign. Photo: SG090512-456MD

A SCHOOL is refusing to say why its headteacher has suddenly gone absent.

Rumours have been circulating that Ian Charles, head of The Peele Community College in Long Sutton, has been suspended, but the board of governors has refused to confirm or deny if that is the situation.

Staff at the college were told last Tuesday that Mr Charles would be absent and a letter went out to parents on Friday.

It only said that in Mr Charles’ absence Simon Gilman would be acting as headteacher.

The letter was signed by chairman of governors Paul Grooms.

When contacted by the Spalding Guardian, Mr Grooms said: “I am unable to confirm anything at this time.”

When asked if he felt the parents and children had a right to know what was happening, he replied: “No comment.”

Mr Gilman also refused to comment on behalf of the school.

A spokesman for the education authority said it had not been notified of the situation, which was unusual, and he would be contacting Mr Grooms to get answers.

He said: “All we can say is that it is a school decision, it has not been made by us, it has been made by the chairman of governors.

“We will continue to offer the school any support it needs.”

One worried grandparent, who did not wish to be named, said: “The children want to know why Mr Charles isn’t there and nobody is telling them or us anything.

“We are all in limbo waiting to hear what is happening,”

Mr Charles’ absence follows problems uncovered last month after the departure of the school’s head of English.

She was accused of falsifying grades on GCSE English Language and Literature coursework and failing to set necessary work for the children to complete.

The situation left a group of more than 30 students facing the possibility of failing their GCSE exams this summer. Pupils were said to be very angry as they faced weeks of extra work to complete the missed work.

Extra teaching help was also drafted in to mark the coursework.

The Spalding Guardian has also been told similar problems had been uncovered with GCSE science coursework, but that was denied by Mr Charles.