Teaching assistant suspended amid claims she 'sent texts to pupil'
A TEACHING assistant has been suspended from one of Staffordshire's top state schools over allegations she sent a 16-year-old pupil inappropriate text messages and Facebook comments.
Now Cathy Holdcroft, from Wolstanton, has been told to remain at home while Madeley High carries out an internal investigation into her conduct.
Staffordshire Police also arrested the 38-year-old member of support staff following the complaint. But the force confirmed today she has been released from her bail and will not face any criminal charges.
Concerns were raised last month after Jake Gerrard, a GCSE pupil at the school, claimed he had received mobile phone calls and messages from Mrs Holdcroft. He says he did not reply to them.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
One comment sent via social networking site Facebook is alleged to have read: "I miss your smiley face xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Mrs H xxxxxxxxxxxxx".
Jake, who lives with family friends in the Market Drayton area, had been on holiday in Tenerife at the time he claims he received this message.
His guardian Nick Wadeson said: "While we were there, he looked at Facebook in the hotel. He came back into the room and said, 'Nick, can you come and have a look on the computer with me?'. He clicked on it.
"He told me it was from his teacher. It immediately rang alarm bells. I was horrified."
Mr Wadeson said Jake had previously asked if he could get rid of his mobile phone, but gave no explanation for why he no longer wanted to use it.
A complaint was lodged with the school after the teenager returned from Tenerife. He is still attending lessons at Madeley and is due to take his GCSEs there this summer.
When approached by The Sentinel at her home yesterday, Mrs Holdcroft declined to comment about the claims.
Eddie Wilkes, headteacher of Madeley High, also said he could not reveal any details about the case.
But, in a statement, Staffordshire County Council said: "Following an allegation against a member of staff at Madeley High School, Staffordshire safeguarding children's board procedures were followed.
"The school has suspended the member of staff while it undertakes an internal investigation, as is standard practice."
A police spokesman added: "A 38-year-old woman from the Newcastle area was arrested, but was subsequently released from her bail without charge."
Also on www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk: Latest discount vouchers
Want to offer readers a discount voucher? Claim your listing on our business directory