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The BBC's Wyre Davies
"She had expressed a desire to start teaching again"
 real 56k

Monday, 4 September, 2000, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Slapping case 'witch hunt' denied
Marjorie Evans at press conference
Marjorie Evans will not return to school for a month
The teacher who gave evidence that head teacher Marjorie Evans slapped a pupil has denied that she was leading a "witch hunt".

Mrs Evans, 56, of Monmouthshire, was cleared of slapping a pupil on Friday but has been suspended by governors for a month following fresh allegations.

Special needs teacher Sandra Cutler gave evidence in the trial against Mrs Evans, saying how she heard the headteacher confess to slapping a 10-year-old pupil.

"There is no witch hunt and I am absolutely flabbergasted when the chairman of the governors at the school said there is one.

"I have not lied in any way in my evidence against Mrs Evans and I would never lie."


We could have withdrawn the suspension but we have been advised that it would be prudent to sustain it

School governors' spokesman
Mrs Cutler said she had been interviewed by police investigating other allegations about treatment of children at the school.

Police issued a statement saying there would be a second investigation at the school - completely separate to the charge of which Mrs Evans was cleared - following new allegations of physical and emotional abuse.

Governors meeting on Friday had hoped Mrs Evans's suspension could be lifted.

But, after taking advice from the Local Education Authority, they have been forced to suspend her for a further month.

A spokesman for the governors said he had called on police to complete their investigations by 30 September.

"There is nothing wrong with the school," he said.

"We could have withdrawn the suspension but we have been advised that it would be prudent to sustain it for a further period in light of the new investigation.

'Employees' allegations'

"Police have refused to give us copies of the allegations. I have urged them to complete their investigations as soon as possible."

A spokesman for Gwent police said: "The investigation we are carrying out now is as a result of allegations made by adult employees of the school.

"They are being treated by a separate team of officers than the first allegations.

"Our investigation is continuing and information will be given to the governors at the proper stage."

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10 Aug 00 | Wales
'Slap' teacher granted appeal
01 Aug 00 | Wales
Teachers back suspended head
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