Hackney director seeks retirement

7th June 1996 at 01:00
Gus John, the education director who was at the centre of the Romeo and Juliet row, is seeking early retirement. His announcement came days after it emerged that Jane Brown - the head who turned down reduced-price tickets to the ballet partly on grounds that it was "blatantly heterosexual" - had been appointed a school inspector.

Mr John, education director at Hackney council in east London, was embroiled in controversy after recommending Ms Brown, head of Kingsmead primary, be suspended over the ticket incident and alleged irregularities surrounding her appointment in 1992. An 18-month inquiry by governors concluded the allegations were not substantiated.

Mr John, 51, has been on sick leave since January. He joined Hackney in 1989 and standards have risen steadily since 1990, but the Romeo row and the closure of Hackney Downs school have dominated public perception.

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