Bombshell allegations prompt resignation of Cranbrook School principal


The headmaster of a prestigious Sydney boys’ school has resigned following bombshell allegations he kept a teacher on staff who sent sexually explicit emails to an ex-student.

Cranbrook School principal Nicholas Sampson has stepped down immediately following the allegations that aired on ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday night, 4 March.

It’s alleged that the un-named male teacher sent sexually explicit emails to a former female student at a school where he was previously employed.

Letter to parents claims lack of board knowledge

Cranbrook’s school council president Geoff Lovell sent a letter to school parents this morning – Friday 8 March – saying that Mr Sampson had allowed the teacher to continue working at the single-sex school despite being aware of the allegations.

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The letter stated Mr Sampson had also failed to inform the school board of the allegations made about the teacher.

The Cranbrook School council held an emergency meeting this morning to discuss those allegations and then released a statement that addressed Mr Sampson’s resignation.

Read more: Elite Sydney school threatens legal action about claims of sexual harassment and a boys’ club culture

“The circumstances of the matter and subsequently Mr Sampson’s failure to disclose the matter to the current School Council in the context of this week’s ABC Four Corners broadcast, have led to an irrevocable breakdown of trust between the Headmaster and the School Council,”
the statement said.

“The School Council communicated this to Mr Sampson and this morning received his resignation.”

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New acting principal named

The council expressed deep regret over “the distress to our students, our staff, our parents, our alumni and the broader Cranbrook family arising from the current circumstances”.

Michele Marquet, who is head of Cranbrook’s junior school, will now be acting principal.

In the letter to parents, Mr Lovell said that Mr Sampson resigned after the board learned “for the first time of allegations of an extremely concerning past conduct matter involving a current senior school teacher at Cranbrook”.

“The allegations do not involve past or present Cranbrook students. The senior school teacher involved was immediately placed on leave pending the school’s further assessment of the matter,” Mr Lovell’s letter said.

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