The future of the Educating Greater Manchester TV series has been thrown into doubt after the leader of the school it is filmed at was suspended.
Drew Povey, executive headteacher of Harrop Fold School in Salford, was sent home on Thursday, and an interim leader has been appointed until the end of term.
Mr Povey became a reality TV star after Channel 4 filmed the fifth series of the “Educating…" programmes at his school.
In January the broadcaster announced that it would film two more series at the school – the first time it had returned to the same location.
Today, Channel 4 told Tes that filming “commenced earlier this year and both series are near completion”.
However, when asked whether the programmes would be transmitted, a spokesperson said: “No decision has been made”.
Two series 'near completion'
Regarding the future of the series, the spokesperson added: “We will await the outcome of the investigation before making a decision.”
The Manchester Evening News reported on Friday that Mr Povey and three other members of staff had been sent home the previous day.
In a letter to parents today, the school’s chair of governors, Anne Boyson, apologised for “not communicating with you earlier”.
She said the governors were following school procedures “as quickly as possible”, and she could not say how long the process would take.
Ms Boyson told parents that the situation was “confidential”, and added: “It wouldn’t be right or fair on the individuals concerned for any further information to be shared.”
Last Thursday, Mr Povey tweeted: “Pressure is something we all have to encounter. Face it head on, do not allow it to phase you, keep strong, do the right thing and keep on going. Forwards not backwards is your destination. #HandlePressure #BeSuccessful”
The day after he was suspended, Mr Povey tweeted:
Yes it’s easier to go with the flow. But sometimes it’s necessary to swim against the current. It takes guts and strength to stand alone and be counted. #BeCounted#DoWhatsRight pic.twitter.com/TXvuDsOkrv— Drew Povey (@drewpovey) July 13, 2018
The following day, he tweeted:
Every single day people everywhere face all sorts of challenges. Life is full of them. We face them head on, we learn from them and we always do the very best that we can!#Challenges pic.twitter.com/jBsB2ZzZiL— Drew Povey (@drewpovey) July 14, 2018
More than 600 people have signed an online petition calling for Mr Povey to be reinstated. He has since tweeted his thanks to dozens of people who offered him support.
Lisa Stone, lead member for children’s and young people’s services at Salford City Council, confirmed that members of staff have been suspended.
She said the matter is being dealt with “according to the school and council’s procedures”, and she could not comment on the reasons behind the suspensions.
She added: “Our priority is the students and we will support the school to make sure their educational needs are met so they can achieve the best possible outcomes.”