A fortnight ago we wrote about Stephen James (pictured). We highlighted that he’d come to the attention of Private Eye who ran a story on him.
We made it clear he is an active member of the Conservative Party nationally and locally. Mr James is an:
Approved Parliamentary Candidate,
The Deputy Chairman Political & Campaigning at Folkestone and Hythe Conservative Association.
Director of Digital Content – Kent Conservatives
A Co-Founded Invicta Academy CIC with Anna Firth – a Sevenoaks Cllr (Con)
The Founder & Chief Executive Officer Conservative Friends of Education with 69 MPs advocating his organisation, among them Gavin Williamson MP and Michael Gove and local MP Damian Collins.
The Founder & Chief Executive Officer Social Media for Schools
Mr James is the gentleman in red trousers – to his immediate right is the Leader of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Cllr David Monk. To his left is Leo Griggs, a local Conservative Member and donor. Also pictured second in from the right is Michael Stainer who has hosted many a do at The Grand for the local Conservatives; which of course Mr James has attended.
Mr James LinkedIn page makes it clear he was a primary school teacher at Sandgate Primary School between 2013 and Aug 2020. On May 21st 2020 the School’s website said Mr James was a Year 3 Teacher and Senior Leader, yet after Aug 2020 all trace of him had been removed from the Sandgate School website.
We understand Mr James officially resigned with immediate effect. This was triggered by a disciplinary meeting being called, which was to do with his “professional standards“. Rather than face an investigation over his “professional standards” Stephen resigned. What professional standards Mr James had broken warranting an investigation is not yet known.
Mr James has gone to remarkable lengths to promote himself and his prospects to find a seat to get himself elected to Parliament. Whether or not he’ll achieve that goal, only time will tell.
Mr James has been asked for a comment but at the time of publication he had not replied. Of course if he does we will publish any comment in full.
Finally, we note on the excellent and well respected Kent Advice website, the author states:
The reasons for the alleged hearing have been described to me by several different sources, but it is inappropriate to describe them. So far, all seems reasonably clear. However, when I wrote to Mr James asking if it were true he had resigned before a disciplinary meeting, he sent me an extraordinary response. This was that he could prove these allegations were not true because of his post employment reference from the school. He quoted the following section, which begs more questions than it answers: ‘Stephen has never been the subject of any child protection concerns, any disciplinary offences including those related to children or had any allegations or concerns raised related to the safety and welfare of children or behaviour towards children and young people whilst employed at Sandgate Primary School’. As a retired headteacher, I find it impossible to conceive reasons that led up to the headteacher introducing such a comment without there being concerns expressed in the first place!
We like Kent Advice have attempted to describe the situation as we see it in the above, wholly based on the evidence we have seen. You must draw your own conclusions as to which way the truth lies.
The Shepway Vox Team
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