Blackpool Headmaster suspended

John Townsend (Headteacher of St George's CE High School, Blackpool)
John Townsend (Headteacher of St George's CE High School, Blackpool)
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THE headteacher of a Blackpool high school has been suspended from his position.

John Townsend, who took over the reins at St George’s School in Marton last September, was told of the decision to relieve him of his duties two weeks ago.

The Gazette understands the suspension is in relation to a personal matter and not because of any issues with pupils or as a result of any criminal proceedings.

Governors are expected to write to parents of children who attend the Cherry Tree Road school next week to inform them of the issue.

Deacon Ann Wren, chairman of governors, said: “I can confirm the headteacher is currently suspended. It would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time. But I will be writing to parents next week to explain the situation.”

Senior staff at the school are expected to cover the role until the issue is resolved.

Mr Townsend replaced long standing headteacher Elizabeth Warner who retired in July after more than 13 years at the helm.

The physics teacher was deputy head before being given the top post and has been employed at the school for about 11 years.

When taking up post, Mr Townsend pledged to continue the school’s upward trend of exam success.

The school underwent a massive transformation in 13 years under Mrs Warner’s leadership.

From being a school with dwindling pupil numbers and a poor reputation, it became a success story with rocketing exam results and glowing reports from Ofsted.

Mr Townsend pledged to continue the school’s “journey to outstanding” as it strived towards the highest inspection category from Ofsted.