Head who prohibited visit to ballet escapes suspension

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JANE BROWN, the headteacher who refused to let her pupils see the ballet Romeo and Juliet because it was 'blatantly heterosexual', was last night backed by her governors despite a council recommendation that she be suspended, writes Mary Braid.

Gus John, Hackney Council's education director, said a preliminary investigation led him to believe there was prima facie evidence of gross misconduct. But governors of Kingsmead Primary, east London, voted against immediate suspension at an emergency meeting. Mr John has threatened legal action, claiming the governors decision raises serious questions about who runs the school. But last night parents said Ms Brown, 36, had their support.

Before the meeting, Mr John said he was concerned about Ms Brown's professional judgement and allegations of irregularities in her promotion to headteacher. It is claimed Nicki Thorogood, Ms Brown's close friend and flatmate, was chair of governors when the appointment was made.