Headteacher at top public school quits amid police probe over ‘downloading porn at work’

July 04 00:27 2016 Print This Article

Married Chris Alcock, 57, is being investigated by police after downloading “highly inappropriate material” on school computers

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A disgraced headmaster has quit his position at a top independent school amid claims he downloaded porn on school computers.

Police are investigating married Chris Alcock, who is also accused of “inappropriate adult relationships”.

The 57-year-old has been head of the £30,000-a-year Queen’s College, in Taunton, Somerset, since 2001.

He resigned last month when confronted with accusations he had breached the code of conduct at the school, founded 173 years ago on strict Methodist principles.

Chairman of the governors Mark Edwards said police have not “so far” found proof of any criminal offences and there was nothing to suggest any students were affected or at risk.

Mr Alcock’s wife Linda is a teacher at the school, which has 776 pupils.

In a letter to parents Mr Edwards said: “We became aware that Mr Alcock had been downloading highly inappropriate material on the computers and phone provided to him by the college.

“In addition, we discovered evidence of inappropriate adult relationships.

“The conduct fell well short of what the college expects from its head, and when presented with the allegations, Mr Alcock offered his resignation, which, as you know, I accepted.”

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Alcock allegedly downloaded porn at the £30,000-a-year Queen’s College, in Taunton, Somerset

He added: “So far, the police investigations have not uncovered any criminal offences or anything that suggests any pupil has been affected or was at risk.

“Establishing this has been a priority for the authorities and for the college.

“If new information were to come to light that changes this position, I shall, of course, inform you as soon as I am permitted to do so.”

The school has also been under fire for having an “unsatisfactory” safeguarding regime after an unannounced emergency Independent Schools Inspectorate visit.

Their report said that the school’s safeguarding policy for the welfare, health and safety of students does not fully reflect the current statutory guidelines.

It added that the leadership and management does not consistently meet all of their responsibilities with regard to the safeguarding of students.

The school charges fees of £5,800 a term for day pupils and £9,770 for boarders.

Deputy head Dr Lorraine Earp has been appointed acting head while a permanent replacement is sought.

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