A FORMER chairman of the governing body of an independent North Yorkshire school has been arrested in connection with an alleged historic sexual offence.
Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate said Brian Martin has stepped aside from his day-to-day involvement with the school while a police investigation is carried out into an allegation of an historic sexual offence.
The school, between Harrogate and York, said there has not been any allegation concerning current or recent pupils at the school.
Mr Martin has said he was innocent of any alleged misconduct.
North Yorkshire Police said that a man had been arrested on “suspicion of indecent assault on a child, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and voyeurism”. He has been released on bail as enquiries continue.
A Department for Education spokesman said it was aware of the arrest but declined to comment further.
Headmaster Steven Jandrell, who leads the Collegiate said: “We are naturally sad and concerned that this allegation should have been made. Whilst the investigation has no implications for the current welfare and safeguarding of the pupils at the school it is important that it should be thorough and full. In the light of this, and in the interests of transparency, Mr Martin has quite rightly decided, for the duration of the investigation, to step aside from his day-to-day involvement with the school.”
“Mr Martin has been a tower of strength in building the sound and outstanding reputation of the school. While we shall miss his advice and support, the School now stands on its own success and has never been stronger.”
Mr Martin said that that whilst the investigation and allegation had come as a “shock and surprise” he was innocent of any alleged misconduct. “The allegation and any suspicions are wholly false, and I am confident that in time they will be rebutted in every particular.” he said.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “A 66-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday 20 October 2015 at an address in Harrogate on suspicion of indecent assault on a child, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and voyeurism. He has been released on bail as enquiries continue.”
A Department for Education spokesman said: “We are aware of an arrest in relation to Queen Ethelburga College and The Faculty of Queen Ethelburga. It would be inappropriate to comment while investigations are ongoing.”