‘Veil of secrecy’ over missing headteacher

11:55 21 March 2012

All Saints School

All Saints School

Archant

Villgaers at All Saints demand to know the reasons for Christine Hollidge’s continuing absence

RESIDENTS in All Saints are demanding an official explanation as to why their headteacher is no longer at her post.

The sudden departure of Christine Hollidge, some four months ago - and her continuing absence - has left villagers angry and confused.

A public meeting last week heard that a veil of secrecy had been drawn over her departure, which was the subject of an on-going investigation.

The gathering was told it was rumoured she had made a complaint of bullying after clashing with officials.

“She took a decision that someone disliked, that’s my gut feeling,” said family friend Jim Ryder.

“There is an investigation but it can’t be completed because Christine if not well enough.

“She is profoundly shocked and deeply hurt and very much missing the children and very much looking forward to returning to work.

“But she is in a mess, in a bad way.”

The meeting was told that Mrs Hollidge was unable to speak to anyone about the on-going proceedings while the school governors and the Devon education authority were also barred form revealing any details.

A letter from the head teachers’ union, the NAHT, acting for Mrs Hollidge, was read to the meeting.

It said: “She is currently unable to communicate with you directly. She appreciates the cards and letters and is making good and steady recovery and looking forward to returning to the school in due course.”

Since Mrs Hollidge’s departure the school has been run by Beer head teacher Martin O’Mahoney and there are plans for the two schools to federate.

But the meeting chaired by parent Andrew Stuckey, expressed concerns that this might go ahead without local agreement.

And some parents were also concerned that changes were being introduced at All Saints School under the temporary new regime – like the introduction of red cards for discipline.

The children are unsettled,” said one parent. “My daughter doesn’t smile any more when she comes out of school.”

The meeting agreed to contact the education authority to demand to be told the full details of why Mrs Hollidge was not at her post.

They also agreed to look at getting up a petition and to ask Mr O’Mahoney not to implement any further changes until the current crisis is resolved.

• Mrs Hollidge has been head teacher at All Saints for some 26 years, taking over when it was facing closure because of low pupil numbers. It now has 137 children.

Other News Stories

Thursday, March 26, 2015
The President of Devon Petanque Region, John Thatcher, and Honiton mayor, Peter Halse, cut the ribbon to Honiton's new Petanque Club and court. Ref mhh 1161-12-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

The petanque terrain at the Mountbatten Sports and Social Club was opened on Thursday, March 19.

Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2015
rugby generic picture

As the Lacemen’s Colts licked their wounds from their recent defeat by a strong Barum outfit, they travelled to Okehampton for a must-win game and produced the goods in a 25-15 result, writes Paz Parratt

Read more
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Rugby

Honiton second XV were confident and commanding across the pitch as they won a derby meeting with Sidmouth 41-10, writes Tom Churchward.

Read more
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Britain's 10 Most Wanted.

National Crime Agency and Crimestoppers launch appeal to capture 10 wanted men believed to be hiding in Spain.

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2015
Convivium

For many music lovers, a performance of Handel’s Messiah is as much a part of Easter as chocolate eggs, fluffy chicks and nodding daffodils.

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2015
Sidford Badminton Club

Sidford Social Hall plays host to a badminton club that is seeing numbers drop and is now in need of some fresh new faces.

Read more
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Exmouth tennis starlet Josie Culliford

Exmouth tennis starlet Josie Culliford enjoyed success at a recent competition in Cheddar, writes Stephen Birley.

Read more
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Football generic picture

With both Millwey Rise teams struggling to fulfil their numbers through injury and late withdrawals the ensuing results were better than what perhaps was expected, writes Dick Sturch.

Read more
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Super-fit Charlotte Venn - fundraising skydiver and marathon runner

Charlotte, who ran the Barcelona marathon in 2004, is hoping to raise £1,000 in sponsorship by taking part.

Read more
Sunday, March 8, 2015
Jack Britten, Devon Roe-Lavery, coach Helen Reddy, Catie Lee and Valentine Tutcher.

The acrobatic gymnastics season is well and truly under way for Honiton Gymnastics Club men’s pair Devon Roe-Lavery and Jack Britten.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read News

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder