Belfast Telegraph

Headteacher death threat probed

Police are investigating a death threat emailed to a headteacher in Northern Ireland.

Dr Annabel Scott has been advised to stay away from Crumlin Integrated College in Co Antrim while officers probe the sinister warning.

Dr Scott returned to work in the school in June after serving a suspension prompted by a damning inspection report in 2010. Her reinstatement to the principal's role was met with protests by some parents.

The warning was sent to a school email address earlier this month. However, Dr Scott and fellow staff only became aware of it when they returned to school for the release of the GCSE results last week.

Stormont Education Minister John O'Dowd condemned the threat, saying: "I utterly condemn this threat against a staff member in a local school. This is absolutely unacceptable and causes great distress to the individual concerned and the wider school community at the start of a school term.

"I note that the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) is investigating the matter and has been working with the North Eastern Education and Library Board and the Board of Governors to ensure steps are taken to minimise the risk to any individual."

The Department for Education initiated a formal intervention at the school in February 2010 when inspectors found standards to be unsatisfactory and cited concerns over management and leadership standards.

Dr Scott was temporarily removed from the top post to undergo additional training and subsequently officially suspended while the board of governors investigated disciplinary claims arising from the report. Those matters have now been resolved and Dr Scott returned to work in June. The school remains in formal intervention pending another inspection.

The board of governors at Crumlin Integrated College has sent a letter to all parents to inform them of the steps being taken to protect the safety and well-being of pupils and staff following the receipt of the threat.

Chairman Stanley Smith said: "I condemn in the strongest terms this anonymous threat against our principal and would wish to reassure the whole school community that we are working with the PSNI and North Eastern Board to ensure the safety and well-being of all. I would like to confirm that there has been no threat to the wider college community."

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