Strike off as head goes on leave

Kathy McNicholas
Kathy McNicholas
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The headteacher at a controversy-hit school has taken a leave of absence, just hours before staff were due to strike.

Parents of pupils at Leyland St Mary’s Catholic Technology College have been told that Kathy McNicholas is on “gardening leave.”

The Royal Avenue school, which was partially destroyed by fire last September, has been the subject of an internal investigation involving staff grievances.

Members of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers were due to strike over an internal dispute on Wednesday.

It is understood the action was called off following a governors meeting in the school on Tuesday morning.

However union leaders were today remaining tight-lipped saying they did not want to prejudice investigations.

Chairman of governors Chris Raven, said today: “Miss McNicholas is currently not in school.

“However, as the concerns within the school are still being investigated it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.”

It is understood Miss MicNicholas has not been suspended.

A message posted on the school website by the governors reads: “I wish to inform all staff, parents and students that for personal reasons the Head Teacher yesterday asked the Governing Body for a period of leave of absence. This was granted.”

Angry parents launched an attack via social media on what they claimed were internal problem at the school which were affecting students.

Among the criticisms was the over the use of temporary staff, which parents feared could have an adverse impact on GCSE results.

The school however, issued a statement via its website stating that extra revision classes were being organised for year 11 pupils.

One parent, who did not want to be named, said today: “Parents are frustrated because we don’t know what is going on.

“All we know is that the headteacher is not there.”

Miss McNicholas was deputy head at the school until she took over the reins from Mike Wright in 2012.

Attempts by the Evening Post to contact failed.

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