June 19 2013 Latest news:
Friday, February 15, 2013
A headteacher caught behind the wheel while three times the drink drive limit will return to her position at a primary school.
Sheila Mercer, headteacher of Woodlands Primary School in Bradwell, pleaded guilty to the offence at Great Yarmouth Magistrates’ Court last December and was banned for two years.
But after an investigation – which school governors say will remain confidential – it was decided she could keep her job.
Letters dated February 11 were sent home with youngsters this week, informing people of the move.
But a group of parents – arguing that Mrs Mercer’s actions set the wrong example for pupils – say they will put pressure on the board of governors to reverse its decision.
A parent, who asked not to be named, said: “She’s there as the headmistress to set an example. A police officer caught like that would be sacked straight away.”
Mrs Mercer, 54, was caught by police while driving a Honda CRV by her home in Stepshort, Belton on Saturday, November 17.
A breath test found 95mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – triple the permitted limit of 35mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath – and her case was heard on Monday, December 3 last year. Magistrates banned her from driving for two years, fined her £740 and ordered her to pay £159 costs.
Mrs Mercer declined to comment on her behaviour at the time, and is maintaining her silence.
She took time out from her job while an “independent investigation” was carried out, and just over two months after the court case, its outcome was revealed.
Derek Cockell, chairman of governors at Woodlands Primary School, said: “I am pleased that Sheila Mercer will be returning to school on February 25. This follows an independent investigation, which was supported by the local authority.
“The details of the investigation remain confidential, but I would like to reassure parents that Mrs Mercer has the full support of our governing body. I would also like to thank them all for their ongoing patience and support.
“My thanks must also go to Bev Hall for her support, and indeed to all our teaching and support staff who have also worked incredibly hard to ensure the education of our pupils has not been affected.
“We look forward to having Mrs Mercer back in school and we know that with the continued support of staff and parents, she can continue to bring about the necessary improvements at the school and raise levels of achievement for our pupils.”
Naturists are to be banned from a nationally-renowned Norfolk beach following complaints about anti-social behaviour committed in the area.
max temp: 24°C
min temp: 14°C