Petition calls for return of Hastings headteacher

Ore Village Primary Academy and Nursery. SUS-160323-115701001
Ore Village Primary Academy and Nursery. SUS-160323-115701001

An online petition has been launched, calling for the return of a headteacher who resigned following a fire at a primary school.

The blaze broke out in a cloakroom in Ore Village Primary Academy on March 16.

One child was taken to hospital, suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation.

Some parents criticised headteacher Ian McCrae and his staff for their handling of the incident.

It was claimed parents and children were told an electrical fault had caused the fire, when in fact an 11-year-old boy had been arrested by Sussex Police on suspicion of arson with intent and released on bail.

As a result of receiving conflicting information, some parents decided to pull their children out of the Rye Road school.

On March 24, parents were sent a letter informing them that Mr McCrae was stepping down immediately.

No reason was given for his departure, but some believe he was forced to step aside following the fire.

Now a group of parents have set up an online petition, calling for the return of Mr McCrae.

One signatory described Mr McCrae as ‘the best head teacher they had in years’ while another called Mr McCrae ‘a dedicated head who has put the children’s safety and education first’.

Another accused The Kemnal Academies Trust, which runs Ore Village Primary Academy, of making Mr McCrae ‘a scapegoat’.

A member of staff has even signed the petition in support of Mr McCrae, saying: “I work at Ovpa and feel he has resigned under unnecessary stress caused by parents over the ‘fire’.”

The Kemnal Academies Trust has been approached for comment.

The petition can be found at www.change.org/p/ovpa-head-title-it-petition-to-get-ian-mcrae-back-to-ovpa/c

A Facebook group has also been set up in support of Mr McCrae.

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