World 'Britain's strictest headteacher' at $72,000-a-year boarding school sent flirtatious messages to pupils calling them 'naughty' and 'stunning'
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A headteacher at a £37,500 (AUD $72,000)-a-year boarding sent flirtatious messages to pupils calling them 'naughty' and 'stunning'.
Toby Belfield, 47, also complimented a student's red dress, said he would visit pupils at University, and asked about their sex lives, as reported by The Times.
It comes as a recent report into Ruthin School in Denbighshire, North Wales, found it has 'serious shortfalls' where pupils are 'not appropriately safeguarded'.
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The Care Inspectorate Wales report, released this week, found the school was run by an 'autocratic and controlling management'.
It said: 'We found some staff did not always feel supported, morale was low and they felt undermined and vulnerable by the lack of effective oversight by the council of management.'
The texts from Mr Belfield are thought to have been circulated in north Wales before being passed to officials.
In the messages, seen by the newspaper, Mr Belfield told one girl: 'Imagine if I found your new tattoo — I'd have to expel you.'
In another message, he said: 'Where is your love for your principal, it has vanished. So rude and cruel to me. Breaking my heart.'
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The 47-year-old has previously been dubbed Britain's strictest headmaster when he sent an email to parents saying he was looking to expel students over absences.
He told parents that too many students were registered as 'sick' when they were just 'tired'.
He also said he disapproved of relationships between pupils and threatened to exclude pupils if they broke the rules.
In another exchange, he says: 'I'll visit you at university to check you are still an angel.'
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In further communication, he comments about a student's sex life, saying: 'I worry, definitely, about you and sexual behaviour.
'You might need my support and you shouldn't risk not having it . . . All the boarding staff have been told you are a potential sexual threat to young boys.'
Teachers have said he has not been seen since last term, and there has been no comment about where he is, or about the report stemming from the unannounced safeguarding visit.
One person linked with the school said they have been told 'nothing'.
The report also found students did not ask for help with their mental health because they were scared of losing a place at university.
It said: 'Policies are discouraging young people from coming forward, accessing support in relation to their mental health in fear of losing their place at school or university.
'Policies relating to their emotional health were inadequate and discriminatory.
'The counsellor had not visited or supported any young person at the school in the 12 months preceding this inspection, even though the need was apparent for such a service.'
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The report also found there was a failure to ensure staff followed a professional code of conduct that 'resulted in young people being placed at risk of harm'.
A spokesman from Denbighshire council earlier this week, said: 'Ruthin School is an independent establishment that is answerable to the Welsh Government.
'It is not a local education authority school, therefore it has no accountability to the local authority and the Council has absolutely no say on how the school is run. That is purely a matter for the school and its own regulators.
'However, safeguarding children and adults is a matter for the Council and its partners and we have previously raised concerns about safeguarding issues at the school which led to an investigation.
'It is for the school to address the findings and recommendations of this and any other inspection reports. We continue to remain concerned.'
In reference to the report, a Ruthin School spokeswoman, earlier this week, said: 'The Council of Management at Ruthin School was already carrying out root and branch strategic review at the time of the inspection, and that work is continuing.
'We welcome the timely publication of the latest Care Inspectorate of Wales report and are ensuring the observations and action points contained in it are fully addressed as part of our review.
'The work we are doing now will ensure the school's governance and operational procedures continue to keep pace with modern requirements.'
The Times contacted Mr Belfield for comment.
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