Swaffham school head suspended

SWAFFHAM'S Hamond's High School headteacher Yve Srodzinski has been suspended while an investigation is carried out into "management issues" at the school.

She was suspended by the school governors earlier this month, but this week neither Norfolk County Council's children's services department nor the governors were prepared to be more specific about the matter.

Stuart Bailey, current headteacher at Attleborough High School, has been brought in to take over the day-to-day running of the 800-pupil Swaffham school as a temporary measure.

In a statement this week, Fred Corbett, deputy director of children's services, said: "We can confirm that Yvonne Srodzinski, headteacher at Hamond's High School, has been suspended pending investigation.

"The investigation is around management issues and in no way relates to the welfare of pupils.

"Suspension is carried out in the interests of the member of staff and the school – to allow a fair and thorough investigation. It is not possible, at this stage, to say how long the suspension will last but we will deal with matters as quickly as possible."

Heather Nunn, chairman of governors at Hamond's, said: "The decision to suspend Yve has not been taken lightly, and I would like to stress that suspension is a neutral act carried out to allow the investigation to take place.

"In the meantime I am grateful to the governors of Attleborough High School for releasing Stuart Bailey to us at this time. I am confident he will ensure that the school continues to function in the usual way for the benefit of all students and staff.

"The governing body will work closely with Norfolk County Council in order to ensure the matter is dealt with appropriately.

"I would like to reiterate that this investigation in no way relates to the welfare of students but, as the investigation is ongoing, I am unable to be more specific about the nature of the allegations."

Mrs Srodzinski was appointed headteacher at Hamond's in 2002 to replace retiring head Robert Young. She was previously deputy headteacher at St Clement's High School in Terrington St Clement.

During her time as head, she has been overseeing a 13 million redevelopment project at Hamond's High. This has involved a major transformation of the older school buildings and creating a new sixth form centre, art block and hall on the Brandon Road site.

Pupils have continued to be educated at the school while the work has been taking place. The redevelopment is due to be completed this summer.

Following its latest visit in mid-January, Hamond's received a "satisfactory" report from Ofsted inspectors who said that staffing difficulties and the complex building programme had had a detrimental impact on students' performance and some groups of students had not made sufficient progress.

However, they said that the school was now recovering from its problems and the headteacher and senior staff were clearly focused on raising standards and together provided effective leadership for the school.