EDUCATION chiefs have confirmed that members of staff at a primary school have been suspended pending an investigation.

Headteacher Melanie Hudson and businesses manager Darren Hobson have not returned to Seascape Primary School in Peterlee, since the Easter holidays.

One parent, who has two children at the school and lives in Peterlee, said: “Parents are going crazy. No one at the school has said anything. Parents have seen the headteacher outside the school dropping off and picking up her children at the start and end of the day.

“We have tried to contact someone at County Hall to get some answers. We made the phone call, but haven’t got anywhere with it.

“We think the deputy headteacher is in charge, but no one has said anything or told parents what is going on.”

A spokesman for the county council said: “The affected staff have been suspended. This is normal practice while an investigation takes place and it should be remembered that suspension is a neutral position which does not infer any wrongdoing.”

The school was visited by Ofsted inspectors in November who concluded the school ‘required improvement’.

The parent added: “There is a lot of speculation about what is going on, and lots of parents are getting angry that no one is talking to us.

“I really think we have a right to know. Our children go to the school and it is upsetting and worrying that we don’t know what is happening.”

Ms Hudson could not be contacted for comment while Mr Hobson, when called by The Northern Echo, said: “All enquiries must be made to County Hall.”

Alison Lazazzera, Durham County Council’s head of people and talent management, said: “As is normal practice following a concern related to school administration, an investigation is being undertaken. We are working to conclude this process as soon as possible and appreciate parent’s patience at this time.

“It would not be appropriate for us to comment further.”

Mayor of Peterlee, and Peterlee Town Councillor Mary Cartwright, who is a school governor, was also unavailable for comment when contacted by The Northern Echo.

Governors and staff have interim arrangements in place to ensure children’s continuing education.