King Solomon High School appoints interim head but will not comment on ‘super head’ rumours

Jo Shuter was headteacher at Quintin Kynaston School

Jo Shuter was headteacher at Quintin Kynaston School - Credit: Archant

A Barkingside school has announced it is hiring an interim headteacher after rumours that a disgraced former “super head” was being considered.

Simon Harris has been appointed headteacher at King Solomon High School, Forest Road, for the autumn term.

But no permanent replacement has been announced for Spencer Lewis, who is leaving next month after 18 years at the school.

The school has not confirmed or denied local press report rumours that it has been in contact with Jo Shuter, who was headteacher of the Quintin Kynaston Community Academy, in Marlborough Hill, for 11 years until she resigned earlier this month following a damning report into her spending.

The Department for Education investigation into finances between January 2011 and 2012 found “extravagant” spending including staff meetings at five-star hotels and lavish birthday celebrations.

The report said one overnight meeting at the Grove Hotel, in Chandlers Cross, cost £8,259, while £1,579 of academy money was spent on chairs for the school delivered to Ms Shuter’s home.

Issues were also raised with declarations of business interests, personal travel costs, expenses claims and the employment of family members.

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Ms Shuter had won headteacher of the year at the 2007 Teaching Awards and made a CBE in June 2010.

Cllr Alan Weinberg, a governor at King Solomon High School, said: “I believe the school was in some discussion with quite a few people regarding the possibility of headship.”

A King Solomon High spokesman confirmed the interim appointment, adding: “However the school has no comment to make regarding any future appointment.

“It is school policy not to comment on speculation and when the school has any announcement to make on any matter regarding the school, it will make it to all stakeholders simultaneously.”