Dulwich head retires after sex inquiry

LOUISE JURY

The master of Dulwich College, who has been at the centre of sexual harassment allegations, dramatically resigned his post last night after a seven-hour meeting with governors.

A statement issued through solicitors said Anthony Verity, 56, was to take early retirement from the pounds 12,270-a-year college in south London where he had been headmaster since 1986.

Governors had earlier cleared him of sexual harassment claims made by school secretary Anne Ridley, 38, but yesterday they found that Mr Verity "had permitted an inappropriate relationship to develop and this affected the performance of his duties".

Mr Verity, who will receive a financial settlement rumoured to approach pounds 1 million, strongly disputed there was any impropriety.

But after the meeting at a private club in central London, he looked stern-faced as he left with his wife, Patricia, saying: "I'm not allowed to say anything."

Shortly afterwards, Jane Mann, solicitor for the school, released a statement outlining both parties' agreement that it was "in the best interests of the college" for the father of two to take early retirement.

She released no details of the financial package.

Sir Colin Cole, chairman of the governors, said: "This has been a stressful and unhappy time for the college and all concerned. The governors' sole objective throughout has been to protect and sustain the fine reputation of Dulwich College.

"Mr Verity has made a very considerable contribution to the life and success of the college over the last eight years, for which the governors and parents are very grateful. We wish him well in the future."

The school was now determined to get back to normal, Sir Colin added, and would advertise for a new master next week.

Ann Ridley has also left the college on mutually agreed terms.

Mr Verity was suspended in August, four months after Mrs Ridley, his secretary of four years, claimed that he sexually harassed her on a trip to Thailand last November.

Many parents were furious to be told of the claims only just before the start of this term. Mothers led by Sue Macdiarmid and Deborah Roslund launched a campaign of support for the head.

Dulwich was founded 375 years ago.Alumni include P.G. Wodehouse, Raymond Chandler and Eddie George, Governor of the Bank of England.

Mr Verity was awarded a first class degree at Cambridge University. At Dulwich he was in charge of 1,400 pupils.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album