Head of grammar school that excluded ‘underachieving’ students suspended

CREDIT: This story was first seen in the Guardian

New chair of governors at St Olave’s, which excluded sixth-form students who failed to perform, confirms Aydin Önaç suspended pending investigation, the Guardian reports.

The headteacher of a leading grammar school that was found to be systematically forcing out A-level students if their grades were not good enough has been suspended pending an investigation by the local authority.

The new chair of governors at St Olave’s grammar school in Orpington, south-east London, confirmed on Thursday October 19 that Aydin Önaç had been suspended from all his responsibilities “without prejudice” while the inquiry was under way.

In a statement issued by the diocese of Canterbury, the chair of governors, Dr Paul Wright, said he had been informed that the London borough of Bromley would be conducting an investigation of St Olave’s “in respect of concerns that have been raised over recent weeks”.

In August, the Guardian revealed that sixth-form students at St Olave’s had had their offers of places for the last year of school withdrawn after they failed to get three Bs in their AS-levels. The school was forced to back down and allow excluded pupils back into the school after an outcry from parents who launched legal action against the school, one of the highest achieving state schools in the country.

Wright said the suspension was necessary to “protect the integrity of the investigation”. He went on: “Members of the senior leadership team, along with other senior teachers, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the school during Mr Önaç’s absence.”

The statement continued: “Please remember that this suspension is without prejudice and does not presume any particular outcome. We are committed to full transparency and will be cooperating fully with the local authority in this matter.”

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