Newcastle girls school head arrested following allegations of fraud

CREDIT: This story was first seen in the Chronicle Live

The headteacher of a well-known Newcastle independent school has been arrested following allegations of fraud, the Chronicle Live reports.

Hilary French was arrested on suspicion of fraud against Newcastle High School for Girls (NHSG) in Jesmond.

Northumbria Police said the 62-year-old was later released under investigation and inquiries are ongoing.

French has been sacked from the school after an internal investigation was carried out into allegations of dishonesty relating to expense claims.

A spokeswoman for the school said: “We can confirm that Hilary French has been dismissed from her role as Head of NHSG following an internal investigation into allegations of dishonesty relating to expenses claims. The police have been informed.

“We are not able to comment any further about this.”

It comes after French announced she was leaving the school to pursue other opportunities in education.

Her replacement, Michael Tippett, was due to start in September but has now stepped into the role.

The spokeswoman added: “Mr Michael Tippett has taken over all of Mrs French’s responsibilities relating to the school, with the full backing of the school’s senior leadership team, as well as the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Girls’ Day School Trust.

“He is focused on ensuring it is business as usual at NHSG.”

The former head of Central Newcastle High School, oversaw the creation of the school, through the merger between Central Newcastle High and Newcastle Church High.

In 2016, the newly-created school moved into purpose-built multi-million-pound facilities in Jesmond.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: “A 62-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of committing a fraud against Newcastle School for Girls.

“She was later released under investigation and inquiries into the fraud are ongoing.”

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