‘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

18:00
Nikky Williams who has become only the second woman to join the crew of Lyme Regis RNLI Lifeboat. Photo Richard Horobin

The 21-year-old sailing instructor is only the second woman to become a sea-going member of the life-saving team

Read more
Honiton Charter Day. Town Crier, Dave Retter, shouts the market charter to deputy mayor Jackie Wadsworth and Elizabeth Thurgood of The Tudor Dance Group. Ref mhh 4970-31-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Visitors were treated to fun dancing sessions courtesy of LeRoc Modern Jive, The Tudor Dance Group and Westernspirit Line Dancing, while dog owners showed off their pets in a family dog show.

Read more
Honiton Hot Pennies 2015. Ref mhh 5432-31-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Honiton town crier Dave Retter thinks this year’s event had the biggest crowd ever.

Read more
07:32
Axminster police station

Several vehicles have been attacked in the Woodbury Park area

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00
Honiton Hospital. Picture by Terry Ife. Ref mhh 0072-03-07TI

The decision was taken at a meeting of the NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) governing body earlier this month.

Read more
Yesterday, 06:59
Isobel Simpson, winner of the ice-cream competition with her 'Orange Secret' with Val Voysey of Furzeleigh Down dairy . Ref mha 1087-29-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Axminster Primary School pupils challenged to create new flavour

Read more
Wed, 17:15
Mimi Cook joined several other heart and lung transplant patients for the fundraising mountain mission.

She described the challenge as the ‘hardest, scariest, most challenging, rewarding, eye opening, proudest thing’ she has ever done.

Read more
Wed, 11:10
The damage caused by vandals.

An appeal has been made by police, who are urging any witnesses to the incident, or anyone with information, to come forward.

Read more
Wed, 07:48
Axminster police station

£250,000 scheme revealed to improve the notorious Hunters Lodge junction on the A35 near Axminster

Read more
Tue, 15:00
A mountain bike similar to this one was stolen from outside a property in High Street, Honiton.

The bike is a Carrera Vulcan and is very distinctive.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 8°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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


Honiton's trusted business finder