THE joint heads of a Huddersfield school were suspended after three groups raised concerns about them.
The Examiner can reveal today that Liam Harron and Mary Nixon were relieved of their duties at All Saints Catholic College at Bradley Bar because of worries over them raised by two professional associations and one trade union.
None have been named.
The shock move concerning “issues at the school” was revealed in a statement from the Catholic Church’s Leeds Diocese.
And it has also been revealed that John Fowler, headteacher at Shelley College, is to take over at the 800-pupil All Saints for the foreseeable future.
It means the suspensions could go on for many months.
Leeds diocesan spokesman John Grady said: “The joint headteachers of All Saints have been suspended pending the outcome of an inquiry conducted into issues at the school.’’
He said Mr Harron and Ms Nixon had been suspended “as a result of a preliminary review by Kirklees Council due to concerns raised by two professional associations and one trade union’’.
He added that the Leeds diocese, Kirklees and All Saints’s governors Mr Grady said Mr Fowler was an experienced headteacher and “will undertake leadership of All Saints on a full-time basis during the inquiry’’.
He added: “The diocese cannot make a further comment on issues at the school as this would prejudice the outcome for all concerned.”
Kirklees has refused to make any further comment about the suspensions.
The Examiner broke the story about the suspension before parents were aware of any problems.
The school later sent a letter to parents, but they are still in the dark about the reasons for the dramatic decision to suspend Mr Harron and Ms Nixon.
Reader forums on the Examiner’s website have included items by parents worried about the future of All Saints.
One said: “I’ve been really upset by the way the school has turned from one with a strong Catholic ethos into accepting all the rabble who would previously have gone to other schools and, worse still, doesn’t expel those who actually do cause trouble.
“Here’s hoping this current investigation marks a turning point and a return to the All Saints we used to have, with discipline and strong leadership helping pupils learn how to be decent people.
“If it doesn’t improve significantly by Christmas my daughter will be going somewhere else instead in September, 2009.”
Mr Harron and Ms Nixon made history in 2004 when they became the country’s first joint headteachers.
The school has specialist humanities status and its last inspection by Government Ofsted inspectors in 1996 praised the joint headship.
Most recently the school’s choir has been hitting the headlines after winning a bronze medal at the World Choir Games in Graz, Austria, last month.
It also has exceptionally successful girls’ rugby and soccer teams.