Rumours over teacher’s suspension refuted

15:41 16 January 2013

Suspended head teacher Christine Hollidge

Suspended head teacher Christine Hollidge

Archant

NAHT union vigorously denies claims All Saints head is accused of misappropriating funds and bullying children

Rumours that the suspended head teacher of All Saints Primary School is facing charges of misappropriating funds and bullying children have been vigorously denied by her union.

Steve Cleverly, regional officer of the National Association of Head Teachers, said that because disciplinary proceedings against Christine Hollidge, and the reason for them, were currently subject to strict confidentially it was difficult to prevent damaging rumours being spread.

“It’s a bit of a no win situation,” he said, when contacted by the Midweek Herald to comment on the allegations.

“I am aware there are rumours circulating that are factually incorrect and I wish people would not jump to conclusions - but that is human nature, I guess.

“One of the big problems for the school, Mrs Hollidge and the community has been the amount of misinformation flying around and I am very concerned that a lot of people are forming views either on wrong facts or without having the true facts, about which I cannot comment.

“I am, however, very happy for you to quote me that there is absolutely no foundation to the rumours that Mrs Hollidge has been accused of misappropriating funds or bullying the children.”

Mrs Hollidge has been absent from her post for more than a year, having served as head at the 137-pupil school – rated “outstanding” by Ofsted - for some 27 years.

She was formally suspended from duties following a lengthy period of sick leave.

A spokesman for the education authority said at the time: “We can confirm that the headteacher has been suspended pending an inquiry into her conduct. Suspension is a neutral act.

“The inquiry is being conducted by the local authority on behalf of the governors at this Church of England school and the governors are following local authority and diocesan advice.”

Friends of Mrs Hollidge have suggested her departure was the result of a clash with school governors – who later resigned en masse.

Currently Mrs Hollidge is prevented from speaking to anyone about the on-going proceedings while the new school governors and the Devon education authority are also barred from revealing any details.

The school is currently being run by Beer Primary School head Martin O’Mahony.

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