We hear that Daniel King Smith, the school accompanist, will not be returning to the Purcell School in the new term.
No reason for his departure has been given to staff, parents or pupils. We have requested confirmation from King Smith.
It is understood that King Smith has been made to sign a confidentiality agreement and cannot comment. It is not known whether his departure from Purcell will affect his future as accompanist at the Royal College of Music.
Smith joins a long and troubled line of departures in the past couple of years: the former Headmaster (Peter Crook), Head of Boarding (Thomas Smith), Head of PE, (David Grant), Head of Geography (Margaret Moore), Director of Music, (Quentin Poole) and his partner, (Ian Mcmillan), Head of Boys Boarding House (Andrew Hutchings), Head of Academic Music, (Miranda Francis), Head of Girls Boarding House, (James Francis), retiring Head of Junior School (Cherry Trotter), Music Librarian (Diana Winny), and Assistant Head of English,(Sheila Young). Some left for natural and non-contentious reasons.
Since the bizarre decision last year to run a music school without a head of music, we understand that results have suffered. Staff tell us of ‘an all time low in last month’s A level results, producing three unprecedented unclassified grades in music.’
The school’s troubles date back three years to allegations of ‘sexual bullying’ that led to the hasty departure of the head, Peter Crook.
UPDATE: More recent departures from the Purcell School: Marisa Thornton-Wood (Junior Music) Alan McKenna, (Chemistry ) David Chappell, (Biology) Kevan Taylor, (Biology) Simon Colam, ( Head of Jazz ) James Quinn (Fundraising), Kitt Garner, (Head of Boys Boarding House) before Andrew Hutchings. Kitt and Andrew only lasted a year in the post. Various long standing cleaning and catering staff have left.
Sadly both Kevan Taylor and James Quinn have since passed away. Our informant left mainly due to bullying.