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5 August 2013, 12:42
A teacher has resigned after claims pupils were supervised cutting themselves during an art history lesson at an independent school on the South Coast.
Ringwood Waldorf reported what happened to authorities earlier this year and the part-time teacher was suspended but later quit.
The Department for Education tell us an investigation is ongoing and action will be taken if the school is failing to meet independent school standards.
School administrator Nigel Revill said:
"We can confirm an incident took place during an art history lesson on 19th March during which a part-time teacher, subsequently suspended pending a full investigation, acted independently without our knowledge.
"The teacher concerned resigned during the disciplinary process, before a disciplinary hearing could take place. The teacher is no longer employed by the school and we have no plans to re-instate her.
"This was an isolated incident, which should not detract from the excellent quality of daily teaching in a supportive, nurturing educational environment for 240 students.
"We reported this incident to the Dorset County Council?s safeguarding team and the School Inspection Service (SIS) and they confirmed to us that we had acted correctly in the steps we took to address the issue.
"Meanwhile, we take on board the observation from the local authority and SIS that we should have informed them at the earliest available opportunity."
Dorset County Council's safeguarding team tell us they went into the school after what happened to offer advice and guidance to avoid anything similar occurring in future.
A Department for Education Spokesperson said:
"This is a deeply worrying allegation. The DfE commissioned an emergency inspection by the School Inspection Service as soon as we became aware of it, the results of which will be published shortly. If there is any indication that this school is failing to meet the independent school standards, we will not hesitate to take action.”
The privately-run school charges up to around £6,000 per year for children aged three to 16 to attend.