York head teacher John Tomsett will return to his post in January

Heading back to Huntington… John Tomsett. Photograph: YouTube

Huntington School head John Tomsett will be back behind his desk in the New Year.

Mr Tomsett, who has been on a leave of absence for much of this term, will start a phased return to the role of head teacher on January 7.

School governors took the decision after considering the outcome of a misconduct hearing conducted by the Teaching Regulation Agency in October.


A City of York Council spokesperson said today:

  • The governors of Huntington School have met and agreed next steps.

    John Tomsett will start a phased return to the role of head teacher at Huntington School on 7 January 2019. Until he returns in a full time capacity, Matt Smith will continue as acting head teacher.

    We will continue to support the governors and Mr Tomsett as he settles into his return and look forward to welcoming him back to the school community.

In a letter to parents, Huntington School chair of governors Alison Bayliss wrote: “Following a series of meetings, the governing body has agreed that Mr Tomsett will make a phased return to work at Huntington School, starting on Monday 7th January 2019.

“Until Mr Tomsett returns in a full time capacity, Mr Smith will continue in his role as Acting Head Teacher.

“Thank you for your continued support of the school and staff.”

‘Back to the job I love’

Mr Tomsett (right) with education secretary Damian Hinds and languages teacher Chris Hughes at Huntington School
Mr Tomsett told YorkMix: “I am delighted to be returning to the job I love at the school I love.

“I would like to thank the governing body for showing such faith in me and pay tribute to my deputies Matt Smith and Gail Naish who have led our phenomenal staff during my absence.”

He added:

  • I would also like to thank all those people who have shown me and my family such incredible support during the most challenging time imaginable.

    I would especially like to thank my wife and my two sons, who have been truly remarkable.

    I look forward to helping to educate the young people at our school and ensuring that they have the best futures possible.

Dedicated and driven

Mr Tomsett is seen as a ‘caring, empathetic’ teacher
Mr Tomsett attended the misconduct hearing in Coventry for a full week.

During the hearing it was revealed that Mr Tomsett had a relationship with a student in 1992 while he was a teacher at Eastbourne Sixth Form College.

He was cleared of one allegation, that he engaged “in an inappropriate relationship” with the pupil.

But Mr Tomsett admitted to another of the allegations, that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with the pupil during the summer in which she received her A level results.


And the panel found that Mr Tomsett’s actions constituted conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.

However in his ruling Alan Meyrick, on behalf of the Education Secretary, cleared the Huntington head to return to teaching.

The panel found that “Mr Tomsett is seen as a caring, empathetic, dedicated and driven teacher and leader and demonstrate his value to the educational establishment”.

And Mr Meyrick said banning him from teaching would “clearly deprive the public of his contribution to the profession”.