A review by governors ruled that Simon Jarvis should retain post following student relationship 30 years ago
A well-liked principal will return to lead Farnborough Sixth Form College into a new term after being told his job is safe in the wake of allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a student 30 years ago.
Simon Jarvis began a relationship with 16-year-old Carol Willard, whom he taught English at Portslade Community College in Brighton, in 1983, when he was in his late 20s.
The pair married in 1988 and had two children, but divorced in 2004 after separating in 1998.
Ms Willard alleged in an interview with the Daily Mail in July that Mr Jarvis had ‘seduced’ her and robbed her of her teenage years, while expressing concerns that he remained in a position of authority over students. Mr Jarvis strongly denied the ‘malicious’ claims, saying the relationship had been real and their separation ‘painful’.
He has since begun a new relationship and celebrated the arrival of a baby daughter recently.
He said he felt his newfound happiness had prompted the allegations about his past from his ex-wife.
He had since received support from within Farnborough Sixth Form, in Prospect Avenue, although a review of his position was completed this month assessing the possible risks of allowing him to remain as principal.
Following the review, he has received the full backing of the governors and was told that he would be welcomed back to the college for the new academic year.
Chairman of the board of governors Andrew Needham said: “While Simon totally refuted these allegations, the governors have a duty of care to students and staff as well as concern for the college’s excellent reputation.
“We therefore initiated an independent review to consider any possible risks and any implications to the college.
“The review panel was led by a new governor who is a senior HR professional, and their review was conducted with rigour and professionalism.
“This review has now been completed and I am pleased to report that it found no evidence of anything untoward having occurred that is likely to present any risk to the safe well-being of our students and staff.
“The many messages of support that Simon has also received from students and staff, past and present, as well as from colleagues in education and local community leaders indicate a similar high level of confidence from others in both Simon personally and the college itself.
“On behalf of the governors I have no hesitation in confirming our full and continued support for Simon as he continues to lead the college in delivering the highest standard of education as clearly shown by the recent excellent results of our students.”
Staff returned to the college last week to prepare for the new school year.
Year 12 and 13 students are due to attend induction sessions this week and next ahead of term officially starting on September 9.