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Private Truro school sacks its director of music

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

  • Frances Eagar, pictured when she was employed as the new director of music for Truro High School for Girls in 2002.

  • Frances Eagar, Truro High School's former director of music, pictured with former student Gabby Rutherford, composer of her own concerto.

  • Truro High School's former director of music Frances Eagar with some donated instruments.

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THE director of music at a private Truro secondary school has been sacked, despite being cleared of malpractice earlier this year.

Truro High School dismissed "distinguished" musician, teacher and examiner Frances Eagar, who was hailed a "coup" for Cornish education when she was employed in 2002.

She was accused of malpractice in relation to the work of sixth form students completing A levels.

She was initially found guilty by Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations' (OCR) malpractice committee but the decision was overturned, clearing her of wrongdoing.

Miss Eagar taught at the Royal College of Music for ten years and is an Associated Board examiner. She has won notable prizes as a pianist and was a semi-finalist in the Beethoven competition in Vienna in 1981.

The South African-born pianist gave her first public performance at the age of 6, soon followed by recitals and concerto performances throughout South Africa.

She has played with the South African Radio Symphony, performed concertos and given recitals in the UK, Austria and New Zealand.

She led Truro High School's 15-strong music department, but had been on sick leave since the beginning of the year. After a "thorough internal process" the school terminated her contract in July, with immediate effect.

Miss Eagar appealed against her dismissal to the board of governors, but the decision was upheld.

A statement from Truro High School sent to parents said: "Following a thorough internal process it has been decided to terminate Miss Eagar's contract of employment with immediate effect.

"Miss Eagar has been informed and she is now considering her right to appeal the decision to the governing body.

"The school is not willing to comment further on the reasons for the dismissal.

"Arrangements for staff cover, in the music department, for the new term will be announced in due course."

This week the school announced that Rob Norman has been employed as a music teacher, along with nine other new members of staff.

They include Fiona Osman as a development officer, who will build the school's old girl and business networks, and Eleanor Stone who will teach the school's first psychology A-level course for sixth form students.

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