Primary school headmaster investigated after taking time off to compete in Austrian triathlon

The Telegraph is reporting that a headmaster chosen as a consultant to help struggling schools in London is being investigated after he took time off during term-time to compete in an international triathlon…

Paul Abeledo, 45, flew out to Kitzbuhel in the Austrian Alps in June to take part in the sprint distance category of the ETU Triathlon championship.

The headmaster, who was pictured in photos posted online of the competition, is now set to be investigated after a complaint was received by the chairman of governors at Rush Green Primary School in Barking and Dagenham.

The council said it is trying to establish if the keen amateur athlete had permission to leave the school, on the Essex-London border, during the week to take part in the event…

The school’s attendance policy was updated in February with extra provisions about term time absences. It said: “Holidays during term time will not be authorised, and if taken will be referred to the local authority attendance team to begin legal proceedings.”

The document says that parents and guardians will be fined £100 per child for taking holidays during the school term, and this will be reduce to £50 if the fine is paid within 28 days.

Records show Mr Abeledo, a keen runner, swimmer and cyclist, finished 43rd in the 45-to-49 male category of the triathlon in Austria on June 20, a Friday. He completed the 750-metre swim, 19.7km bike ride and 4.8km run in one hour, 19 minutes 26 seconds…

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman confirmed an investigation was taking place, and this is expected to be concluded in the next couple of weeks.

He said: “The chairman of governors, with support from the local authority, has set up an independent investigation to look into the matter.”…

Mr Abeledo, who lives in Essex and, and governors at the school were unavailable for comment…

More at: Primary school headmaster investigated after taking time off to compete in Austrian triathlon


We had a similar story recently about the World Cup and in reality, one or two days leave – probably unpaid – is unlikely to make any meaningful difference to anything, but if leadership is also about setting an example should we expect better from headteachers? Please give us your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Primary and Teaching.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove I find these stories bizarre & on the increase; if you go into teaching you accept your holidays are set. Or not for some

  2. phil_mcbride57

    SchoolsImprove Interesting that this makes the news!!! What other profession would hit the headlines??

  3. CafeMenuSystems

    SchoolsImprove You could say he was Tri-ing his luck there. Do as we say, not as we do. Lesson number one.

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