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Shock after Norwich head teacher suspended

PUBLISHED: 14:00 23 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:29 01 July 2010

Diana Neville-Jones

Diana Neville-Jones

Peter Walsh

Police say that a head teacher who has been suspended while an investigation is carried out did not commit a criminal offence.

Police say that a head teacher who has been suspended while an investigation is carried out did not commit a criminal offence.

Pupils at Eaton Primary School were given letters to take home which revealed that head teacher Diana Neville-Jones, a teacher with more than 25 years experience, has been suspended “pending an investigation”.

Specific details of the alleged incident remain unclear, but a police spokesman said: “This matter was referred to police under agreed procedures. Initial enquiries have been carried out and no criminal offences have been committed. No further police action will be taken in relation to this matter.”

Parents waiting to pick up their children from the Purtingay Close school yesterdaytold of their shock at the suspension which they only found out about in the letter sent home on Monday.

Fiona Prickett, 34, from Poringland, who has two children at the school, said: “I don't know what's going on. I think everyone's shocked.

“She's ever so nice. She's brilliant. She greets everyone and is really approachable. It's very strange.”

Bill Taylor, 65, from Mulbarton, who has a grandson at the school, said all he knew was what had been in the letter that had been given to pupils the day before.

He said: “They just came out with a letter. It seems a funny way of doing it. Whatever it is it's a bit unfair on her. Alright, you've got to inform the parents, but there's better ways of doing it than seven and eight year olds running around with sheets of paper.”

Victoria MacDonald, chair of governors at Eaton Primary School, said: “We can confirm that our head teacher Diana Neville-Jones is currently suspended following an alleged incident. This to ensure a full and fair investigation can take place.

“We are working with the county council to ensure we follow all of the correct procedures and guidance. Our deputy head teacher Jeremy Johns is currently acting as head teacher, to help ensure there is no disruption to pupils' education.

“As the investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

Mrs Neville-Jones, formerly Diana Ellis, is a mother of three as well as a grandmother and has been a head teacher at several other Norfolk schools including Coltishall Airfield First School and Northfields First and Nursery School in Norwich.

She was appointed head teacher of the former Fairway First and Middle Schools and lead the schools through a reorganisation which saw them merge to become Eaton Primary School which opened in September 2007.

In December 2008 the Evening News reported how the school was praised for its work during the restructuring process by inspectors from the Office for Standards in Education as a “caring school” that is “moving forward in all aspects of its work”.

The school, which has 367 pupils aged from four to 11, was judged to be “satisfactory” while the leadership and management of Mrs Neville-Jones, then Mrs Ellis, was highlighted as “good”.

Have you got a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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