Victim's husband attacks governors

11th March 2005 at 00:00
Governors who supported a headteacher who sexually harassed and bullied female staff should resign, according to the husband of one of the teacher victims.

Norman Closs-Parry was struck off the teaching register last week (TES Cymru, March 4) after being found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by the General Teaching Council for Wales.

A GTCW disciplinary committee heard that the former head of Merllyn primary in Bagillt, Flintshire, kissed and touched female teachers and made inappropriate comments about their breasts.

Mr Closs-Parry, 65, who retired last summer, has protested his innocence and claimed he was denied a chance to defend himself. A statement issued by his solicitor said he had been too ill to attend the hearing but that he would not be appealing.

The school's chair of governors, Kevin Jones, has said the former head set high educational standards. Stressing that he was speaking in a personal capacity, Mr Jones said: "I'm not condoning what may or may not have taken place. All I'm saying is none of this was brought to my attention."

But Andy Roberts, husband of Merllyn teacher Gaynor Roberts, has called for Mr Jones and any other governors who supported Mr Closs-Parry to stand down from the board.

"I have no confidence in either the board of governors or Flintshire education authority in supporting or protecting any of the wronged teachers at Ysgol Merllyn," he said.

John Clutton, Flintshire's director of education, said he was not aware of any other calls for governors to resign from the school.

He investigated Mr Closs-Parry, at the governors' request, after the first complaints against him were received last year, and recommended his suspension pending a disciplinary hearing. Mr Closs-Parry retired before the hearing took place.

Mr Clutton said: "It has always been my intention to meet with the full governing body to consider the outcome of the GTCW's findings and to reflect upon the circumstances that led to them."

He added: "Support for all staff in Flintshire is available from LEA officers and the county's occupational physician. In this case, the LEA worked with the teaching unions to provide counselling and support to victims. I am confident an appropriate response was made and that every individual knows that they can review or refresh any support they have received."

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