A HEADTEACHER has been suspended following allegations that he was involved in the manipulation of exam results.

David Horton has been suspended from Kelloe Primary School at Kelloe, near Durham City while the accusation is investigated.

The headmaster is the third in region to face allegations of manipulating Standard Assessment Tests (Sats) which are used to help formulate school league tables.

A spokesman for Durham Local Education Authority said: "We can confirm allegations have been made. They are under investigation and a member of staff has been suspended without prejudice."

The news comes only two weeks after Helen Quick, who resigned as head of Wyndham Primary School, in Newcastle, after admitting she altered science and maths papers, was allowed to resume her teaching career by the General Teaching Council.

In June last year, Dave Scott, head of Kirkby and Great Broughton CE Primary, near Stokesley, East Cleveland, was suspended from his duties over allegations of irregularities in math tests for 11-year-olds.

Earlier this year, members of the Secondary Heads Association called for league tables to be banned. Some members said schools found ways of manipulating Sats results.

Kelloe Primary School received a favourable Ofsted inspection report in 1999, but inspectors noted that standards in English and mathematics were "well below that expected". The school has 116 primary and nursery pupils aged from three to 11.

Mr Horton and member of the board of governors Alan Crathorne both declined to comment yesterday.