Hartlepool Sixth Form College principal on leave of absence for “personal reasons”

Rick Wells.

Rick Wells.

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A PRINCIPAL at a college in Hartlepool is currently absent from work for “personal reasons”, governors have confirmed.

Rick Wells, principal at Hartlepool Sixth Form College, in the town’s Blakelock Road, will be absent for a “period of time” but no time scale has been put on when he will return.

In his absence, Carole Horseman will take up the reins of acting principal and governors say a “robust plan” is in place to ensure the college continues to run as normal.

Governors have refused to go into further details of the circumstances surrounding his absence from the college, which has an A-level pass rate of 99.6 per cent.

Last week, the chair of governors Andrew Mills resigned from his post, but he has told the Mail it was not connected to Mr Wells’ absence for personal reasons.

Mr Wells is believed to have become absent from the college within the last week.

In a statement to the Mail, Councillor Jonathan Brash, who is now acting chair of governors, said: “The principal, Rick Wells, will be absent from Hartlepool Sixth Form College for a period of time for personal reasons.

“In Rick’s absence, Carole Horseman will become acting principal.

“Mrs Horseman has reviewed staffing arrangements and, in conjunction with the chairman, has implemented a robust plan that ensures that the college continues to run as normal, offering the highest standards of education to all our students,” added Coun Brash, who refers to himself as independent Labour but is classed as independent on the council website.

Mr Mills didn’t want to comment, but confirmed to the Mail that he resigned from his post last week and that Mr Wells was still in charge at the time.

His term as chairman was due to run until September 2014.