Three staff suspended by school named

ALL three of the staff suspended at a troubled Felixstowe high school can today be named by the Evening Star.

FELIXSTOWE: All three of the staff suspended at a troubled Felixstowe high school can today be named by the Evening Star.

It has already been revealed that headteacher Peter Tomkins, 43, and director of corporate services Jackie Spillane, 39, have been suspended from their posts while an investigation takes places into allegations made against them.

The third member of staff to be suspended as part of the inquiry is IT manager Brian Wadsworth.

Mr Wadsworth said yesterday that he was taking legal advice and would be fighting to clear his name.

An external consultant is being called in to carry out the investigation, which all parties hope will be completed as quickly as possible.

Mr Tomkins is being supported by the Association of School and College Leaders.

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A union representative said: “This suspension is a neutral act which simply allows an investigation to be carried out swiftly and efficiently. Mr Tomkins has the full backing of his union and we hope the investigation will be concluded as quickly as possible.”

The union has advised Mr Tomkins not to speak publicly about the investigation.

Neither he or Miss Spillane have been available for comment - and he has not returned calls made to his mobile.

Chairman of governors at the 830-student Orwell High, John Barker, has written to all parents telling them of the situation.

He said the suspensions had arisen through “a series of unforeseen events” and the consultant undertaking the investigation would make a full report to him personally.

“In the absence of these staff the school will continue to be run by the deputy headteacher Miss Pat Doyle with the senior leadership team,” he said.

“I can assure you that the school will continue to run as normal with focus on the quality of teaching and learning and the well being of all Orwell students.”

Mystery still surrounds the allegations which have been made against the three staff.

Police have dealt with a complaint of harassment but will only become involved again if the investigation was to reveal any matters of alleged criminal activity.

Do you have any views on secondary education in Felixstowe and Orwell in particular? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk