New twist in Great Yarmouth College row

The long-running wrangle between the two most senior members of Great Yarmouth College's senior management team took a new twist tonight.

It was announced that director of finance Roy Hughes will be returning to work at the Suffolk Road campus on Monday after being absent since early July while an internal inquiry took place.

However, the college's principal of 15 years Robin Parkinson will remain on leave of absence with a final resolution of his position not expected until Wednesday.

Chairman of the governors Mike Field declined to comment on the possible outcomes, saying: 'The governors of Yarmouth College are pleased to announce that Mr Hughes will return to work as director of finance of the college.'

Students and staff had been left in the dark over the pair's absence until chairman of the governors Dr Field announced on the first day of the autumn terms that the inquiry had been triggered by Mr Hughes making a formal written complaint against Mr Parkinson.

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In it, he alleged that certain actions of the principal were preventing him from fulfilling his financial responsibilities to the governors and that the college's financial position might therefore be impaired in the longer term.

At that time Dr Field stressed there had not been any allegation of financial impropriety and the funders had been written to confirming that.

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An accountant and the former principal of a London college carried out an independent inquiry speaking to 16 members of staff.

Dr Field declined to say how much the inquiry cost, but said it was well in proportion to the risks of not taking action in terms of either party seeking legal redress against the college.

Vice-principal Julia Howard has been in temporary charge and a temporary finance officer was in place during the absence of Mr Hughes.

College life has been unaffected and an extensive rebuilding programme has been carrying on.

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