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Slap-case head spruns pay-of deal

MARJORIE Evans, the South Wales head cleared of slapping a 10-year-old pupil, has turned down a pay-off deal and says she is sticking by her wish to be back at her old school by Christmas.

She has rejected a package from Monmouthshire education director Phil Cooke, of pound;20,000 and full pension entitlement.

The 56-year-old insists she wants to resume the headship of St Mary's school, Caldicott, in which she has not set foot for 15 months.

Although she is no longer suspended, the local education authority has refused to rule out disciplinary action arising from a second set of allegations of pupil mistreatment revealed after the head was cleared on appeal of assault.

What have been called "staffing issues" still remain. The members of staff who made the orinal accusations against her remain at the school.

Her most staunch supporter, governor Graham Powell, claims the authority wants her out, saying the situation "stinks".

But he faces problems of his own. A disciplinary panel has been set up to decide whether he should be removed from the governing body, after a remark he made at a private meeting which hinted at moves by the authority to close the school.

Mr Powell said he will call for an investigation into the affair by the Welsh Assembly.

Meanwhile, Mrs Evans remains the focus of local media interest. The South Wales Argus even reported where she spent a recent two-week holiday.

As The TES went to press, St Mary's governors were set to discuss the issue of her return.

Julie Henry

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