Relief for Glemsford ex-head as case is dropped

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A HEADTEACHER who resigned after being suspended in a £500,000 IT equipment leasing investigation has spoken of her relief after the case against her was dropped.

Liz Steele, former headteacher of Glemsford Primary School, and her IT technician son James Loker-Steele were suspended six months ago after the school was saddled with a £500,000 debt to Clydesdale Bank.

The school had agreed to lease equipment including 100 laptops, which had reportedly been marked up by ten times its original value, from Direct Technology Solutions, which went into liquidation.

Mrs Steele, who resigned last month, one week before her son, said: “We’re pleased that the council has dropped the investigation against us.

“It is still a very sad time as I miss the job very much and never dreamed that my career would end like this.”

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said it had concluded that pursuing the investigation against Mrs Steele and Mr Loker-Steele was not in the public interest.

The council received approval from secretary of state Michael Gove to remove Glemsford Primary School’s board of governors this week.

“This decision came into force on 1 July which means an interim executive board is now in place and providing the school with sound financial and managerial control,” added the spokesman.

“The county council is of course still negotiating with the banks to resolve debt issues. This work will certainly continue for some time.”

For the full story see this week’s Free Press.