A CROOKED headteacher who stole £500,000 from her school to fund her lavish lifestyle, still haunts it two years after she was jailed.

Bromley Council has announced it is to start a consultation process on closing All Saints Catholic College, Layhams Road, West Wickham.

If it decideds to close the school, which has massive debts and falling pupil numbers, it will shut down in summer 2007.

The consultation, which will conclude next June, will see council chiefs speaking to school governors, parents and members of the public.

The school, which changed its name from St John Rigby Catholic College in September last year, was mired in controversy two years ago when its headteacher was jailed.

It emerged Colleen McCabe had stolen at least £500,000 from the school between 1994 and 1999.

The former nun used the school's credit card to buy items including an Orient Express journey.

The 53-year-old's crime was only discovered when Bromley Council took control of auditing the school's accounts.

She was sentenced to five years imprisonment in 2003 after being found guilty of 11 counts of theft and six of deception at Southwark Crown Court.

Since the scandal, the school has been praised for its efforts to turn itself around.

GCSE results were up this year and the school won a Princess Diana Memorial Award for its anti-bullying campaign.

But Copers Cope councillor Russell Mellor told members of the council's executive on December 12: "I feel strongly Colleen McCabe must be haunting us after all the effort to save All Saints."

It is expected intake for September next year is 45, despite having space for 210 students.

The school has been given more than a £1m in grants since 2000 but would still have a debt of £1.3m if it were to close in summer 2007.

A concerned parent, whose children are in Years 7 and 9, said: "The whole thing stinks.

"I'd like to hear what Colleen McCabe has to say and I want to know if she's sorry for destroying this school."

  • It is understood McCabe was released from prison last week but has moved from her former home in Longlands Park Crescent, Sidcup.