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Scandal-hit headteacher quitting

A headteacher who faced allegations that he used his work email to arrange to meet an escort dressed in a schoolgirl uniform has resigned.

David Nicholson said in a statement it was "with huge regret and disappointment" that he was stepping down as head of the Costello School in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

His resignation comes a month after The Sun newspaper reported that he sent a message to an escort saying "I love this and would be keen" when she suggested dressing up like a schoolgirl.

Mr Nicholson, who took up his role at the school last year, is also reported to have said that he was "looking forward to putting you over my knee".

He arranged to meet the escort and a fellow escort in a hotel he was due to stay at after attending a meeting, but he then called off the threesome, the paper reported.

Mr Nicholson, who reportedly disputed the allegations, was subject to an internal investigation by the school's authorities after the details emerged.

Now, in a statement to parents published today on the school's website by chair of governors Carol Bode, it was announced that the governing body had accepted his resignation.

The governing body believed the move was "in the best interests of his family and the whole school community". And it added that there were no safeguarding concerns.

Mr Nicholson said in a statement: "As I am sure you will understand, the recent press coverage has been highly distressing.

"Although I have been very grateful for the many messages of support and understanding, I have to put both the interests of my family and the school community first.

"It is therefore with huge regret and disappointment that I have taken the very difficult decision to resign as headteacher of the Costello School.

"I have been very privileged to have served as headteacher of the school and proud of the opportunities I have set up. I wish all at the school every good fortune in the future."

Ms Bode praised Mr Nicholson for working "tirelessly" for the school and "always with our students' best interests at heart".

She added that it was "business as usual" at the school, which is now being led by acting headteacher Leigh Adams.

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