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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 14:41 GMT
Head suspended for 'freeing' girl
A primary school headteacher has been suspended after he forced two boys to free a 10-year-old girl they had trapped in a cupboard.

Ian Mackay, 55, rescued the pupil from a dark storeroom at Scotby Church of England School, near Carlisle.

But the parents of one boy claimed he bruised their son's arm.

Cumbria County Council confirmed Mr Mackay had been suspended, without prejudice, in accordance with the council's disciplinary procedures.

It is just one example of the sort of risks teachers face and demonstrates how vulnerable they can be
David Hart, former NAHT official
The headteacher is now battling to be reinstated, more than four months after the 5 July incident.

A council spokeswoman said: "The suspension was made immediately after the school was informed about a complaint made against Mr Mackay. This is now subject to an enquiry."

A spokesman for Scotby School's governing body said discussions with Mr Mackay and his advisers had finished on Friday.

David Hart, former general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, confirmed that Mr Mackay had been trying to stop two boys shutting a pupil in a storeroom.

He said: "As a result, the boy's parents came to the school the next day, launching a tirade of criticism against the headteacher and alleging that he had bruised the boy's arm.

'Clear his name'

"Mr Mackay denied it, he has always denied it, but the parents decided to complain to social services and as soon as that happened, he was suspended."

Mr Hart said the headteacher had put his side of the story to the governors, who will hold a meeting on Thursday to "decide where to go from here".

He said: "This incident followed what can only be described as totally unacceptable conduct from the pupils.

"It is just one example of the sort of risks teachers face and demonstrates how vulnerable they can be.

"Mr Mackay is a very good headteacher and he desperately wants to clear his name."

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