Portsmouth school suspends head after drink-driving and drug charges

Iain Gilmour, headteacher at Isambard Brunel Junior School
Iain Gilmour, headteacher at Isambard Brunel Junior School
  • Iain Gilmour, headteacher as Isambard Brunel Junior School, has been suspended
  • The 48-year-old was allegedly caught drink-driving and in possession of class A drugs
  • Parents have since told of their shock
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A HEADTEACHER has been suspended after he was allegedly caught drink-driving and in possession of class A drugs.

Iain Gilmour, headteacher of the Isambard Brunel Junior School, has been ‘indefinitely’ removed from his role, bosses at the North End institution have said.

Isambard Brunel Junior School

Isambard Brunel Junior School

It comes after he was arrested by police on Thursday evening in Manor Road, Buckland.

The Crown Prosecution Service said the 48-year-old has now been charged with possession of a class A drug and drink-driving and is due in court next month.

Class A drugs include cocaine, heroin and ecstasy.

Stuart Gardner, chief executive of the Thinking School Academy Trust which runs the site, broke the news of the arrest to parents on Monday.

In a letter seen by The News, he said the Wymering Road school was now being led by deputy headteacher Samantha Cox.

Mr Gardner added: ‘We have taken this decision because Mr Gilmour, the headteacher, will be away from the school for an indefinite period after being charged with driving-related offences.’

His letter continued: ‘It is not possible, because of the ongoing police investigation, for me to comment further at this stage but I want to reassure you that the health and safety of your children is always our number one priority, and why we have acted swiftly.’

Parents have since told of their shock at the news, describing Mr Gilmour as an ‘honest and friendly’ man who is ‘loved by his pupils’.

Parent Khanim Mahmood, 38, of Buckland, added: ‘I’m sad about it. He was a good teacher. The kids love him. We’re all in shock.’

One parent, who asked not to be named, said: ‘I can’t believe this has happened. My children are devastated.’

Kimberly Smith, 28, of North End, has an eight-year-old boy at the school, and rallied to the head’s defence.

She said: ‘My children think he is very funny. He is an honest headmaster.’

Friend Connie Sheppard, 28, who has a seven-year-old at the school added parents had been left ‘confused’ by the school’s letter, claiming it lacked any detail.

She said: ‘The school has overreacted. This isn’t an issue to do with the school.

‘If he was a pervert or something I would understand. But (these charges) don’t affect his work and doesn’t affect my child. It all happened outside of school hours.’

As well as being the head at Isambard Brunel, Mr Gilmour has also been the vice-president of the National Association of Headteachers in the south central region.

The Thinking Schools Academy Trust said that the school’s new leadership will be supported by their director of primary education, Claire Stevens.

Mr Gilmour, of George Street, Buckland, is due to appear at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on February 8.