THE CHAIR of governors of a Stonehouse primary school has defended leave taken by its headteacher during term time in response to claims it is unfair pupils and their parents are not allowed to do the same.

Paul Stephens has confirmed he and the governors of Stonehouse Park Infant School have granted headteacher Rachel Edwards leave during term time, though he said the reasons why were confidential and he did not confirm how much leave was taken.

He also said such leave was unpaid, rare and did not affect pupils’ education or safety.

His confirmation came after the SNJ was contacted by a parent at the school concerned that staff should be “leading by example” when it comes to term time holidays.

They said: “Allowing the headteacher and other school staff to take personal holiday during term time is totally unacceptable.

“Parents are not allowed to take their children out of school during term time for a holiday.

“Students have their absence recorded as unauthorised and a fine can be implemented.

“School staff should be leading by example.”

When the SNJ contacted the school about the parent’s concerns, Mr Stephens responded by saying: “There is a fundamental difference between rare staff absence during term time and a child being kept away from school.

“The governors and school leadership team will always ensure that safety and provision are not affected before considering granting a request for unpaid staff absence.

“However, a child not being in school will always affect their learning.”