October 22nd, 2014
‘Absolute despair’ of principal caught up in school row and forced to flee home with family following threat
The treatment of a school principal in Northern Ireland forced to flee her home with her family after a threat has been described as an “absolute disgrace”. This is from the Belfast Telegraph…
Dr Annabel Scott and her family left their home last week following a sinister threat that a group of parents were going to call there. It is the second threat she has received and the most serious yet.
The Crumlin Integrated College principal has been on leave for three years following a damning inspectors’ report in 2010.
Dr Scott was temporarily removed from the top post to undergo additional training, and was subsequently officially suspended while the board of governors investigated disciplinary claims arising from the report.
Parents staged a protest outside the school in June 2012 when she returned.
She left work again after receiving a death threat sent by email in August 2012 warning her to stay away.
Fern Turner, regional officer for the National Association of Head Teachers, told the Belfast Telegraph yesterday that Dr Scott was in “absolute despair”, revealing that all of her papers had been removed from her office in her absence and dumped.
“She is just in absolute despair. She started at the school when she was a young teacher, her career has been spent in Crumlin, she is devoted to the children and the community,” she said.
“It has also been horrendous for her whole family, and she lost her mother in the middle of it all, too.
“I can understand the anger and frustration of the parents because of how all of this (the inspectors’ report) was presented, but unfortunately Annabel Scott has become the victim of this.
“The parents are very fond of their school and are aware of the decline since Annabel’s suspension, and unfortunately they are blaming that on Annabel when in fact she has not been in the school for over three years.
“Crumlin was a successful school before this, no ifs or buts about that. Before Annabel’s suspension it was a school of 400, its results were above the Northern Ireland average.
“What has happened is extremely sad.
“I know that the population of Crumlin has changed over recent years, but I think every community needs to treat it with respect.”
Ms Turner said Dr Scott was not well enough to speak to the media yesterday.
South Antrim DUP MP William McCrea said for a teacher to be treated like this was indefensible…
Please share any insights you have about the situation at Crumlin Integrated College (which is facing closure) in the comments below or via Twitter…