Lambeth council remains tight-lipped over Tunstall investigation

Lambeth council has refused to confirm whether it will publish the outcome of an investigation into the former executive headteacher of a federation of south London schools who left his role this summer.

Sir Craig Tunstall, formerly England’s best paid primary headteacher on £330,000 a year, was suspended in May last year from the Gipsy Hill Federation amid a council investigation.

But when asked by Schools Week whether the investigation had concluded and when its outcome would be published, the council would only say: “For legal reasons Lambeth council and the Gipsy Hill Federation will not be giving any further details about this at this time.”

In the case of an academy investigation, the Department for Education publishes its findings in all but what it classes as “the most exceptional circumstances”.

Sir Craig, who was awarded a knighthood for his services to education in 2014, took home £330,394 pay in 2016.

In May 2017 newspapers including The Sun and The Guardian reported that he had been suspended in relation to allegations of fraud.

The Education Uncovered website reported in July that parents were told Tunstall was “no longer employed” at the federation of six schools.

It had been given permission to convert all its schools into academies in 2016, but Schools Week understands the process was abandoned.

There were also plans to open a secondary free school but the project was halted in the last academic year, costing the DfE £355,000.

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  1. The results of investigations like this should be published as soon as they’re concluded irrespective of who has done the investigation. The only exception could be if publication might jeopardize a possible trial if the case was referred to the police. Even if this were the case, the investigators should say an investigation had taken place and had been referred to the police.
    The investigation findings should not be buried, however. They should be published (a) if no police action is taken ie the findings fell short of criminal activity and were not deemed illegal but could still be in breach of, say, LA/academy handbook rules or (b) after any trial.