Petition calls for headteacher at sex abuse claims school to go

Parents and relatives  at Greenlands Nursery and Infant school
Parents and relatives at Greenlands Nursery and Infant school
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HUNDREDS of parents have signed a petition calling for the resignation of a Sheffield headteacher whose school is at the centre of sex abuse claims.

The petition was launched after it emerged a male member of staff - not a teacher - at Greenland Nursery Infant School, Darnall, had been suspended pending a police investigation into an allegation of a “serious sexual offence”.

The man was arrested and quizzed by police after a young boy at the school made an allegation of assault.

The man has been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Parents of children at the school have signed a petition stating they have “lost confidence” in headteacher Sue Daniels over her handling of the situation, and want her to resign.

The petition states parents are concerned the headteacher “failed to notify parents of the allegation, or issue a letter when they arrived at the school gates”.

The petition is to be sent to MP Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education.

Chief Superintendent Simon Torr, Sheffield’s District Commander and highest ranking operational officer, stressed the police investigation centred on one allegation only, made against one member of staff only.

“We are investigating only the one allegation,” he said.

“A couple of parents have come to school with general concerns but not of a criminal nature, so we are not investigating any other allegations at this time.

“Support has been available for parents this week in terms of social workers and psychologists, and we will have a police presence at the school when it re-opens to provide reassurance for everybody - parents, children, the community and staff - because everybody is upset.

“We will have a presence there until the end of the week, and then it is half term.”

The arrest sparked concern in the community, with hundreds of parents turning up at the school on Monday demanding answers.

A meeting was called when parents refused to leave the school grounds, and headteacher Mrs Daniels confirmed a member of staff had been arrested and suspended.

Another meeting later was attended by education, council and police chiefs.

Parents vowed to boycott the school and, in an unprecedented move sparked by mounting tension in the community, education chiefs recommended a temporary closure.

The school on Fisher Lane was due to reopen for classes today, with police providing a visible presence.

Chf Supt Torr said the police investigation was likely to prove a lengthy process.

“We could not be taking this any more seriously,” he said. “We are doing everything we can.

“It is an allegation at this stage, and we are committed to uncovering the truth.”

Anyone with information should call police on 0114 220 2020 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.