Swaffham secondary school head sacked after safeguarding probe

The Nicholas Hamond Academy Swaffham Main Entrance ANL-151202-134824009

The Nicholas Hamond Academy Swaffham Main Entrance ANL-151202-134824009

A secondary school principal has been sacked following an investigation into breaches of safeguarding rules.

Staff and parents were informed of the decision to dismiss Cheryl Hill, who led the Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham, on Thursday.

Former Nicholas Hamond Academy principal Cheryl Hill

Former Nicholas Hamond Academy principal Cheryl Hill

But officials have insisted the school’s safety procedures are still robust and the issues identified do not relate to any current pupils.

In a letter to parents, which was released yesterday, the school’s sponsors, the Academy Transformation Trust, said the decision had been taken because of what it called “serious breaches” in applying safeguarding procedures.

The trust’s managing director, Joyce Hodgetts, said the issues were not connected to the safety or wellbeing of any pupils who are attending the school at the moment.

She added: “The Academy Transformation Trust has been working with the Norfolk local area designated officer for safeguarding and the police to ensure that matters have been dealt with appropriately.

“We have carried out a full safeguarding review in the academy since the matter came to light.

“We can assure you that all procedures are robust and appropriate.”

The school is currently being led by vice-principal Martin Booth, with support from trust managers, until permanent arrangements are made to replace Ms Hill, who was appointed almost four years ago.

Mrs Hodgetts added: “Since Cheryl’s appointment there have been many positive changes within the academy. The continued improvement in exam results is testament to the hard work and commitment of the staff.

“We can assure you that the pupils’ education will be unaffected by the dismissal and that ATT will ensure permanent, appropriate leadership arrangements are put in place as quickly as possible.

“The safety, happiness and achievement of students remain our highest priority and we will continue to provide excellent opportunities for pupils.”

Norfolk Police confirmed late this afternoon that it was no longer looking into the issue.

A spokesman said a short time ago: “We have been working with the academy in relation to a safeguarding matter and are satisfied it has been dealt with appropriately.”

Norfolk County Council was also asked to comment on the issue, but has so far not so.