North West Wales

No confidence vote in Brynrefail school head Eifion Jones

Eifion Jones
Image caption Investigations were held after complaints against Eifion Jones

Governors at a troubled Gwynedd school have passed a vote of no confidence in their head teacher at the same meeting as his suspension was lifted, the chair has told BBC Wales.

Eifion Jones was suspended from Ysgol Brynrefail in Llanrug, near Caernarfon in December following a complaint.

Gwynedd council said following two investigations, there was no reason for his suspension to continue.

The school has been told to make significant improvements by inspectors.

The governors' vote of no confidence took place at the same meeting in which they lifted his suspension, said chair of governors Canon Robert Townsend.

But Mr Townsend said that if Mr Jones did return to work, he would give up his post as chair.

"Firstly, when you're dealing with matters around suspension there are regulations which need to be followed," said Mr Townsend.

"A recommendation came to the governing body and the governing body acted in accordance with that recommendation which meant that Mr Jones's suspension was brought to an end.

"It was then that the governors moved on to the possibility of a vote of no confidence in Mr Jones.

"The vote was passed by almost 70% of the governors. There's no obligations, there's no official status to a vote of no confidence such as this but it does reflect the feeling of the governors at this time."

"The vote of no confidence expresses concerns about Mr Jones's ability to help the school get itself out of the Estyn category which it's in at the minute of needing significant improvement, and the motion speaks for itself about the governors' feelings on that issue."

He said he had made it clear at Wednesday's meeting that if Mr Jones returned then he would resign as chair of governors and also resign as a governor.

"There may be other governors who do the same thing," he added.

A Gwynedd Council spokesperson confirmed that Mr Jones was not at school on Monday and would not return until the procedures for dealing with the issue had been completed.

School governors are said to be working with the local authority to formally complete the process.

Mr Jones was initially suspended from his post in December last year and has been part of two investigations following complaints against him. The complaints had nothing to do with child protection issues.

The suspension came at a difficult time for the 750-pupil school, with an Estyn report from November 2012 stating that there had to be significant improvements.

A second report in January came to the conclusion that things had not improved satisfactorily and that Estyn would return in autumn this year.

If Estyn is still unhappy, Brynrefail could then be placed in special measures.

In a statement, Gwynedd Council told BBC Wales: "We can confirm that the second formal investigation into a complaint against the conduct of a member of staff at Ysgol Brynrefail has been completed and that there is no reason for the suspension to continue.

"In accordance with the procedures for dealing with matters of this kind, the school governors are now working with the local authority to formally complete the process. The necessary arrangements for completing the process will be made this week."

BBC Wales has been unable to contact Mr Jones for a response.

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