Mystery of ‘absent’ Chesterfield College principal - EXCLUSIVE

Derbyshire Times Business Awards 2010 - Young Business person of the year Hayley Gibard with Judith McArthur
Derbyshire Times Business Awards 2010 - Young Business person of the year Hayley Gibard with Judith McArthur

STAFF at Chesterfield College are in shock following the apparent departure of their principal.

The Derbyshire Times understands that Judith McArthur, college principal since 2008, is no longer fulfilling her duties.

But the Infirmary Road college would not comment on whether she was still in post, or who was in charge, despite several calls asking for the record to be set straight.

A statement read: “Staffing issues are confidential and so we are unable to comment further.”

College staff said Mrs McArthur had “not been at work for over a week now” and “heads of department have been told...as from today this other person is taking it over.”

Her departure was not ‘uncommon knowledge’ in college circles, another added.

When the Derbyshire Times called asking to speak to Mrs McArthur we were told “She’s not in college at the moment”. Mrs McArthur was also absent from a meeting of Destination Chesterfield, where she is on the board, on Wednesday morning.

The Derbyshire Times put the following questions in writing to the college corporation:

l What is the current employment position of Judith McArthur and why? Is she fulfilling her duties as college principal?

l In the interests of openness and transparency, who is leading the college’s operation at the moment?

l Why is the college unable to confirm this basic information? It is clearly in the public interest given its hundreds of students and staff.

The college’s response said it could not provide any further information on “strictly confidential employment/staff matters”.

The college corporation chairman and deputy principal also declined interviews.

What do you think? Contact reporter Ellen Beardmore on 01246 504578 or at ellen.beardmore@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.