TEACHERS at a Northfleet primary school have been threatened with disciplinary action following the hasty exit of a headteacher.

A notice in the staff room at Dover Road Community Primary School, in Dover Road East, warned teachers not to discuss headteacher Rebecca Smith’s departure with anyone outside of the school.

For two weeks parents and children have been left in limbo as to why Miss Smith did not return to her post after the Christmas holidays.

Simon Webb, area education officer at Kent County Council, who signed off the notice which said staff should not comment until a press statement was officially released.

On Friday (Jan 18) a letter was finally sent out to concerned parents explaining she had stepped down from her position with effect from December 31.

Miss Smith was appointed headteacher in 2005 and remained in charge despite the school being placed into special measures by Ofsted 15-months ago.

Inspectors ruled the school’s teaching was "inadequate" and follow-up inspections have taken place every six months since.

The most recent report in November said progress being made since the last inspection was "satisfactory," but the overall improvement was "inadequate" and newly-qualified teachers could still not be appointed.

Catherine Ward, the former headteacher of St Anselm’s Catholic Primary School in Dartford, has taken over the reins until August and is tasked with turning around the failing school’s fortunes.

Mr Webb added: "The governors and local authority would like to thank Miss Smith for the work undertaken during her period of headship.

"We wish her well for the future."