Colchester Royal Grammar School confirms staff member suspended after using cup with ‘offensive’ image

An Essex grammar school has confirmed a staff member has been suspended after being pictured using a mug with an “offensive image” on it. Colchester Royal Grammar School said it was aware an image of the mug had been shared online and the staff member is now away from the school.

This comes just days after an Ofsted monitoring inspection reported the school had made steps to improving a “hostile” culture where students felt “unsafe” because of their gender or race.

A spokesperson for Colchester Royal Grammar School said in a statement: “We have been notified that an image has been shared online of an individual appearing to use a cup that has an offensive image on it.

Read more: Latest Colchester Royal Grammar School Ofsted inspection after damning sexist culture report

“At this time we are looking into the matter. While we cannot comment on individuals, this will be reviewed in line with our policies and procedures and the appropriate robust action taken as necessary. The staff member concerned is currently away from the school.”

The school was involved in an earlier scandal, after an inspection in May 2021 found a significant number of pupils felt “uncomfortable and unsafe” in school and faced “insulting or damaging” comments regarding their gender, appearance, race or sexual orientation.

Ofsted also found pupils were reluctant to pass on concerns to staff and safeguarding systems did not work properly, meaning leaders were largely unaware of the difficulties many pupils faced.

In a new report published on March 25, the watchdog said effective action had been taken by leaders towards removal of its serious weaknesses designation. A change in safeguarding leadership has taken place and procedures for reporting concerns have been improved.

Headmaster John Russell said in a statement: “Over the last twelve months we have worked with pace and purpose to ensure that our school offers an environment where positive and healthy relationships flourish.

“The outcome of this inspection shows that the actions we are taking are effective and having a real and tangible impact. At every level of the school the inspectors applauded the work that has been undertaken, which is testament to the collective efforts of so many people in our community.”

Essex Live – Colchester