A HEADTEACHER has been suspended after allegations were made against him.

Parents of pupils at St Stephen’s CE Primary School in Tockholes have been told that Dominic James will not be returning to the school while a formal investigation is carried out.


Alison Ashworth-Taylor, headteacher at The Redeemer CE Primary School in Blackburn, has been drafted in to support the school twice a week.

Chairman of governors Paul Adnitt, a former headteacher, said that he will be helping the school as much as he can. The development comes after the Rock Lane school was praised following a recent Ofsted visit.

A Diocesan Board of Education spokesman said: “The headteacher of St Stephen’s has been suspended pending further investigations of allegations made against him. This is a strictly neutral act in everyone’s best interest and does not imply any censure or guilt.

“The Diocesan Board of Education awaits the outcome of the current investigation by the governors. Our staff will be working hard to support the school and facilitate the offer of pastoral support for the head during this difficult time.”

Gill Tarbatt, who has a child in Year 3, said: “It has come as a bit of a shock. We have not been told too much information by the school. It is not something that anybody was expecting.”

In a letter to parents, Mr Adnitt said: “I will be around school as much as possible. The work of the school will therefore go ahead and will remain focused on improving standards and ensuring that all pupils make at least good progress at this school.

“All normal events will continue to take place including arrangements for new reception children and parents’ evening.

“Further information regarding these will be sent out.”

Cllr Colin Rigby, who represents the area on Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “I understand that there is a feeling at the school that it was not performing at the level it should have been. The school reports that I have had over the last few months have not been as good as I had hoped. The governors will have had the right knowledge to have made their decision.”

The school, graded as requiring improvement, was praised when it was visited by Ofsted inspectors in December.

Linda Clegg, director of children’s services, said: “As a council we will work to support the school and the diocese throughout the investigation.”