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1st February 2008 at 00:00

Former skills minister Ivan Lewis has publicly backed Mike O'Hare, of Holy Cross Sixth Form College in Bury, Lancashire, after he resigned as principal in a confidentiality dispute with governors.

In a message to former students running a group in support of the principal on Facebook, a social networking site, Mr Lewis said: "Mike O'Hare is an exceptional educationist whose leadership has ensured Holy Cross is one of the best colleges in the country.

"The college governing body should immediately rescind their disciplinary warning and instead try and persuade Mr O'Hare to remain principal for a final year."

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