PARENTS and grandparents at Isambard Brunel Junior School have rushed to the defence of headteacher Iain Gilmour following his sentencing.
Those with youngsters at the school say that they have never had a problem with him in the past.
Grandparent Pat Morgan, 60, from Southsea, said: ‘I have always found him to be very friendly.
‘He said he had some problems with his personal life, but the thing is that if he didn’t have such a name for himself as a headteacher this wouldn’t have blown up as much as it has.
‘I actually feel really sorry for him because he has never done any harm to people before.’
John Pearson, 52, from Portsmouth, said: ‘Mr Gilmour is brilliant.
‘I have a second child that I have sent to this school, and from what I have seen he commands total respect here.
‘When he asks the children to be quiet, he gets it immediately – there’s total silence when he walks in a room, because of how much respect everyone has for him.
‘It is a shame he’s being picked on like this because of the position he holds. He has always been a good headteacher and he is well-liked by people here.’
One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘After everything that’s happened, I feel sorry for him.
‘He has done nothing wrong in the past and has been a really good headteacher.
‘I also feel sorry for his children and his family for having to go through all of this.’
Another parent, who also wanted to stay anonymous, said: ‘Mr Gilmour is really good – as a parent I have never had a problem with him.
‘In my opinion, after school hours he can do anything he wants – we all have our own private lives.
‘The punishment is fair but he doesn’t deserve to be treated so badly be people because of it.
‘We all make mistakes.’
In a statement from The Thinking Schools Academy Trust, a school spokesman said: ‘Our priority at all times is providing the very best education, and we worked closely with Iain and his union to put in place a structured programme to support him to accelerate school improvement. This had been having a positive impact.
‘Last month, a member of staff was charged with offences by police. He was suspended immediately ahead of today’s court appearance, where he pleaded guilty and was sentenced.
‘We will now commence disciplinary procedures in line with our policy, and it would not be appropriate to discuss this further at this stage.’