Misconduct claims rock city college

Share this article

A SENIOR staff member at Ripon College has been suspended while an investigation into an allegation of misconduct is carried out.

The suspension – believed to have been imposed on Monday – involves a member of the college’s management team, who has not been named, and comes just days after the school’s governors dismissed a male teacher for gross misconduct.

A spokesman from the local education authority, North Yorkshire County Council, has refused to comment on the nature of the allegation leading to the suspension.

He said: “North Yorkshire County Council can confirm that a senior member of staff at Ripon College has been suspended pending an investigation into an allegation of misconduct.”

The spokesman also refused to give details of the gross misconduct allegation which led to a teacher’s dismissal last week. The teacher was originally suspended earlier this year, as reported in the Gazette on May 20.

“The member of staff was dismissed by the governors on Thursday (June 30) for gross misconduct. He has the right to appeal against the decision,” said the spokesman.

But it has been confirmed that neither case is related to the police’s investigation into 10,000 indecent images of children found on computers used by Ripon College’s former principal, Paul Lowery, who committed suicide earlier this year.

The former headteacher – who left the school in summer 2007 before becoming an Ofsted inspector – took his own life in January after being arrested and bailed by police.

Ripon College is seeking to leave local authority control and convert to academy status by September, joining a partnership with the Wakefield-based Outwood Grange family of schools.

Top officials from North Yorkshire County Council were at the school on Tuesday for talks with senior members of staff about the transition.

But the county council has refused to comment on whether the visit also included discussions about the suspended senior member of staff or the dismissed teacher.

Its spokesman said: “Senior officers from the county council’s Children and Young People’s Service are currently meeting members of the college management team to discuss a number of issues in the run-up to Ripon College’s change of status to an academy.

“Neither the visit of the officers, nor the suspension of a senior member of the college management team, have any connection to the former head of the college Paul Lowery.”