Governors apologise over headteacher banned for ‘racist remarks’

Governors at a primary school whose headteacher was banned from teaching after a ruling found he made racist remarks have apologised for not keeping parents informed.

The General Teaching Council, the body which registers and regulates teachers, banned the school’s former head, Simon Parker from teaching last week after finding he “displayed a disrespectful attitude to governors, pupils, parents and past, present and potential members of staff.”

Mr Parker, who taught at the school in Manford Way, Chigwell, in 2008 and 2009, was accused of insulting members of several ethnic minorities during his tenure.

In his ruling, chairman of the hearing Tony Neal said: “He demonstrated a deep-seated contempt for members of many other races, encompassing members of his own school staff and the community beyond.”

In a letter posted on the school’s website, Miles Silva, chairman of the school’s board of governors, wrote that governors were unable to give information to parents because of “legal and confidentiality reasons”.

“On behalf of the governing body, I would like to apologise for the lack of information supplied to parents over the last two years, however, as I am sure you will appreciate this has been for legal and confidentiality reasons,” the letter said.

It goes on: “I also apologise for any concerns that the current press coverage of this matter may have caused you. Please be assured that the staff, governors and local authority have worked, and continue to work in close partnership to ensure that this incident does not have an adverse effect on the pupils.”

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The Recorder has attempted to contact Mr Silva but has so far been unsuccessful.

In his letter Mr Silva added; “I hope that you will continue to support the school in its endeavour to provide the best possible education for your child as well as a nurturing and safe environment, without prejudice, racism or bullying.”

Mr Parker was appointed to the post of headteacher in January 2008 by the board of governors and was suspended in 2009, after they received several allegations of misconduct.

He was sacked after an investigation in March 2010.

Since his suspension his assistant Jo Coton has been running the school. She was appointed to the headteacher’s post in October 2010.

She has refused to comment.

The most recent OFSTED inspection of the school on April 13, 2009 said of Ms Coton:

“The acting headteacher provides very committed leadership with a clear focus on raising standards. She has a well-developed understanding of the school’s strengths and weaknesses and has set a clear direction for improvement.”