GOVERNORS who resigned en masse from a North Yorkshire school were investigating a complaint of bullying made by a member of staff, it has emerged.

The allegation of bullying and harassment made by a male teacher at Richmond School was initially passed to headteacher Ian Robertson to examine.

However, the complaint was referred to governors after the complainant was unhappy with Mr Robertson's investigation.

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It is understood the board of governors was conducting its own investigation when members received a warning letter from North Yorkshire County Council, which prompted their resignations.

It is unclear if the investigation is being continued by the interim executive board (IEB) of governors which has been appointed to run the school.

However, a spokeswoman for the county council said: “The interim executive board is now established and well placed to examine any outstanding issues at the school.”

She added: “We can confirm that Richmond School has a very healthy workforce profile including lower than average turnover.

“Staff turnover for 2013/14 was again reducing and at 8.1 per cent compared with an average turnover in North Yorkshire County Council secondary schools of 13.6 per cent for that same period.”

Anne Skeoch, former chair of the governing body, declined to comment on the complainant, repeating her previous statement that documents had been submitted to Ofsted and the Department of Education.

The IEB will hold a meeting for parents tomorrow (Thursday, April 3), at 6.30pm to introduce members and explain the functions of the board.

The Northern Echo requested to attend the meeting but was told by the school not to attend.

A petition set up by the parent of a former Richmond School pupil demanding the truth behind the governors' resignations has attracted 85 signatures.

One signatory said: “Today's society demands transparency in all areas, and we are being kept in the dark about matters that affect our children's education.”

It is understood the former governing body resigned after its relationship with senior teachers at the school broke down.

However, a full explanation behind the breakdown has not been released.