Staff urge head in 'touching' row to resign

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The Independent Online
THE HEADTEACHER suspended for allegedly touching young pupils has been asked to resign by staff at his school, writes Esther Oxford.

Five of the six teachers and two auxiliary staff yesterday passed a vote of no confidence in Richard Connor, 46, headteacher at Alderley Edge County Primary School in Cheshire.

The decision has angered parents who say Mr Connor is the victim of a hate campaign. They want him to stay. 'Some people clearly have a grudge against Mr Connor and want him out. But most of the parents at the school support him,' said Trish Moore, who has a five- year-old daughter at the school. Mr Connor was suspended seven months ago after he allegedly sat a five-year-old girl who was upset on his knee in assembly.

He was reinstated last Monday after an investigation by education officials and police found him not guilty of inappropriate behaviour. But on his first day back a parent alleged that Mr Connor had pinched the bottom of a four-year- old boy. This went against an earlier arrangement where Mr Connor had agreed not to teach or touch any of the 150 pupils until the school had formed a policy on appropriate physical conduct.

Mr Connor, who vehemently denies the new allegation, is on sick leave suffering from stress. He declined to comment yesterday.