Slap-case primary has had three heads in a year

15th September 2000 at 01:00
THE school at the centre of continuing investigations of a headteacher cleared of slapping a pupil has had three acting heads in the past year, writes Karen Thornton.

Marjorie Evans, head of St Mary's junior in Caldicot, Gwent, south Wales, remains suspended despite her assault conviction being overturned on appeal.

In her year away from the school, three experienced local heads have successively taken up the reins, said John Sheen, Monmouthshire's assistant education director.

The current acting head, who has been in post since April, is expected to continue at least until the end of the month, when governors meet to discuss further allegations made against Mrs Evans.

Mr Sheen said: "The school continues to function for the benefit of all the pupils. LEA officers are visiting the school to offer support on a day-to-day basis."

Local police and Monmouthshire education authority are continuing a joint inquiry into fresh allegations, which include claims that a second child as hit and a brother and sister were tied together with a skipping rope.

Mrs Evans, of Usk, Monmouth, who has been a head for 13 years and a teacher for 35, said she would continue the battle to clear her name. She told the Mail On Sunday:

"My job has been my life. I have never wanted to do anything else. I will have all the support of people who have supported me in the past and my knowledge that I am innocent."

A High Court judge lifted an order banning identification of the school, following a challenge by a local newspaper, the South Wales Argus. Editor Gerry Keighley said there had been "an unfair suspicion on other schools during the ban".

Last week, appeal judge Mr Justice McKinnon told Mrs Evans, 56, that she could leave the court with her "very good character entirely intact", after clearing her of slapping a 10-year-old boy. He said that special needs teacher Sandra Cutler, who gave evidence against Mrs Evans, was "not a reliable witness".

Letters, 22

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