Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Parents condemn threats against school principal Annabel Scott

Dr Annabel Scott
Dr Annabel Scott

A parents' group in Crumlin has condemned threats made against school principal Dr Annabel Scott.

Dr Scott and her family were forced to flee their home last week when the North Eastern Education and Library Board received a telephone call threatening that a group was going to call round to her house. She received a death threat last August.

The Crumlin Integrated College principal was temporarily removed from her position after a damning inspection report in 2010.

She returned to the school two years later to protests by parents at the school gates – which was followed by a death threat via email. She left the school and has not returned.

A spokesman for Crumlin Supports Shared Education parents' group said while parents have differences with Dr Scott, they "wholly condemn" the threats made against her, and call on whoever is doing it "to stop their irresponsible and damaging behaviour immediately".

They blame the education board for falling numbers of students, from 400 to 140.

The board met on Tuesday and agreed to delay a decision on the school's future until a meeting this month.

Crumlin Supports Shared Education said parents were only informed of the uncertain future of Crumlin Integrated last Wednesday evening.

"The falling numbers at the school are as a direct result of the lack of direction provided by the NEELB management authority," a spokesman said.

"The NEELB has not communicated with parents directly since last March. This vacuum of communication has led to uncertainty and parents in many cases are not opting for Crumlin."

NEELB chief executive Shane McCurdy said the board agreed in April to explore the possibility of shared management of the school and engaged over the summer months about that.

He said he understood frustrations, but said the board was working through a process. "There are no decisions to engage on at the moment, we are still exploring the options for a shared education school in future," he added.

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