Mystery of unfounded allegations

MYSTERY surrounds the identity of a self-proclaimed “concerned parent” who has made a series of false allegations against an Essex school.But yesterday the headteacher of Fordham Primary School, near Colchester, said he was mystified as to why someone wanted to discredit the school's good name.

MYSTERY surrounds the identity of a self-proclaimed “concerned parent” who has made a series of false allegations against an Essex school.

But yesterday the headteacher of Fordham Primary School, near Colchester, said he was mystified as to why someone wanted to discredit the school's good name.

The unfounded claims about the school were circulated to media outlets and said the school was “flouting the strict regulations which apply to the health and welfare of pre-school aged pupils”.

The anonymous letter also alleged the school had been reprimanded for its actions by Essex County Council and falsely claimed it had been unfairly accessing funding for extra pupils by claiming nursery vouchers to fund the children.


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The accusations, which have been categorically denied by the council and the school's headmaster, Gordon Malcolm, followed news that schools in the county had been forced to update their admission procedures to bring them in line with current Government regulation.

The 12 schools, which include Fordham, had been admitting children below reception age into classes as early as the January of the year they start school.

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But new regulation from the Department of Skills and Education means that by 2005, the practice which was originally backed by Essex Local Education Authority will no longer be allowed.

Headteacher at Fordham Primary School, Gordon Malcolm, said they were unsure where the allegations had come from and why the school had been targeted.

He said: “The only meeting we have had with the LEA was to review the admissions policy and we have been working in partnership with the LEA.

“The allegations are completely untrue. The school has never claimed nursery vouchers. The numbers of children we have on our role are sent to the LEA and they then provide our funding.”

He added the letter had “come out of the blue” and he felt all the parents would know they could approach him about any concerns.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “As far as the allegations in the letter, it's a load of rubbish.

“There is no issue of the school being reprimanded or any of these schools, there has been nothing devious or under-hand at all. It is purely a technical issue.”

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