The head of a leading public school has been suspended while governors investigate claims of improper behaviour made against him.
Anthony Verity, Master of Dulwich College, where former pupils include the writers PG Wodehouse and Raymond Chandler, has been suspended on full pay pending an internal investigation into claims apparently made by a female member of staff.
The decision was taken by the governors on Tuesday and a letter was sent to pupils' parents. It read: "The Governors of Dulwich College have temporarily suspended the Master from his duties pending further investigation of certain matters. The Deputy Master, Christopher Field, has for the meantime been appointed acting master."
The school yesterday refused to divulge the nature of the complaints, although they are understood to involve a female member of staff, who has not been suspended. Mr Verity is reported to have vigorously denied the allegations.
"Certain allegations have been made. Mr Verity has not yet had the opportunity to put his side of the case to the governors," Mr Alexander said. "Meetings are planned for September when he will have the opportunity to state his case."
Mr Verity took over at Dulwich, where day fees are pounds 6,135 a year, in 1986 after leaving his post as headmaster at Leeds Grammar School.
According to Mr Alexander, Mr Verity was a good and well-liked headmaster. "All heads have some unpopularity but it often depends on how some children are doing at the school," he said, adding that the investigation was expected to take several weeks.
Dulwich College, which was founded in 1619, has about 1,400 pupils, most of whom are day boys. Other famous former pupils include the former England cricketer Trevor Bailey and the Governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George.