Reprimand for 'joke' after 77 bombings

24th November 2006 at 00:00
Days after the London bombings an "exemplary" head told colleagues that a Muslim governor would not be able to attend a ceremony because he was going to the funeral of a bomber, England's General Teaching Council heard.

Richard Fraser, head of Kelford school, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, the hearing was told, had an exemplary career spanning more than 30 years. He spent 17 years as head of two special schools before moving to Kelford, a school for children with learning difficulties, in January, 2005.

He was also alleged to have said a teacher was running a "crack house" and a "knocking shop". Mr Fraser, 57, told the committee he did not remember making the comments, but accepted in light of statements by colleagues that he had done and that it amounted to unacceptable professional conduct. He said the Muslim governor had admitted he used the "race card" to benefit his two sons. Mr Fraser said this had upset him.

The committee heard Mr Fraser was under a considerable amount of pressure.JWhen he joined the school it had a pound;250,000 debt and an Ofsted report in April said education, teaching and leadership management was poor.JIt was positive about the appointment of Mr Fraser, saying he raised morale and had a clear vision of what had to be done. A report by Mr Fraser's GP said he had work-related stress and a high chance of having a heart attack.

Margaret Bromley, presenting officer, was told by the governor at the centre of the allegations that he enjoyed a good relationship with the head and believed the comment to be a joke. Mr Fraser, who has worked as an educational consultant since resigning from the school last August, was issued with a reprimand.

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