Two senior staff members suspended from primary school

Seascape Primary School, Peterlee.
Seascape Primary School, Peterlee.

Two senior members of staff at a primary school have been suspended pending an investigation.

Melanie Hudson, headteacher, and Darren Hobson, businesses manager, are believed to have not returned to Seascape Primary School in Peterlee since the Easter holidays.

As is normal practice following a concern related to school administration, an investigation is being undertaken

Alison Lazazzera

Parents have said on social media that they have not been given any information from the school as to what has happened.

A spokesman for Durham County Council said the staff involved have been suspended, and added: “This is normal practice while an investigation takes place and it should be remembered that suspension is a neutral position which does not infer any wrongdoing.

“We are working to conclude this process as soon as possible.

“Governors and staff have interim arrangements in place to ensure children’s continuing education.”

Alison Lazazzera, Durham County Council’s head of people and talent management, said: “As is normal practice following a concern related to school administration, an investigation is being undertaken. We are working to conclude this process as soon as possible and appreciate parent’s patience at this time.

“It would not be appropriate for us to comment further.”

The Ofsted report into the Ellison Road school was published in January this year.

Inspectors said the leadership, quality of teaching and outcomes for pupils all require improvements.

However, they said personal development, behaviour and welfare of children is good, as is the early years provision.

The report said: “This is a school that requires improvement. Outcomes in mathematics are below average across the school. Results show that pupils’ progress rates in mathematics by the end of Year 6 were among the lowest nationally.

“The most able pupils do not reach their full potential, particularly in mathematics, because work set for them is too easy.”

Inspectors said attendance is low, a significant proportion of this is due to unauthorised holidays taken during term time, and exclusions are high in the additional resourced mainstream base.

They said: “Leaders have had to accommodate a significant number of staffing changes, and because of this the quality of teaching remains variable.”

But, inspectors said the strengths of the school are that leaders and staff are determined that the school should improve and all are committed to the welfare and care of the pupils.

Also, children make good progress from low starting points in the early years and almost all pupils are well behaved, polite, respectful and willing to learn.