Head sacked – but she's set to appeal

THE headteacher of a crisis-hit school has been sacked, the Citizen has learned.

Despina Pavlou, who has been the head at Lord Grey School in Bletchley for six years, was dismissed after a displinary panel met in private following allegations earlier in the year about her conduct.

However, a veil of secrecy has fallen over the affair with Milton Keynes Council, who conducted the investigation, the school and the board of governors all refusing to even confirm that Miss Pavlou has lost her job.

Last night Madeleine Carrington, the chair of governors, said cryptically: "There is a process in train and that process is still in train.

"When the process is completed there may be an official comment to be made."

The sacking was only corroborated by Miss Pavlou's union solicitor Tim Glover who said: "I confirm that

Despina Pavlou has been dismissed.

"Miss Pavlou will be appealing against that decision and she will have the full support of the Association of School and College Leaders in the appeal proceedings."

It is understood that Miss Pavlou did not attend the hearing because she has been signed off sick with depression and a bad back following emergency surgery earlier in the year.

The saga dates back to February when deputy head Linda Lennox made a complaint to police alleging she had been assaulted by the headteacher.

Miss Pavlou was arrested but police did not pursue the charges.

Nevertheless Milton Keynes Council carried out its own investigation into the claim plus allegations of financial irregularities.

The episode is one of a number to have hit the school in recent weeks:

* Last week the Citizen reported that a female teacher had been held at

'gunpoint' by an intruder after school.

* A student died after taking a morphine overdose.

* And this week a science teacher was suspended for possession of a hobby knife.

The last incident happened on Tuesday, when the science teacher was taking a lesson in a laboratory and the knife fell out of his briefcase.

The teacher, who has been temporarily employed at the school for two weeks, has been suspended pending an investigation.

richard.cooper@mkcitizen.co.uk