Complaints against two York head teachers are being investigated by City of York Council, YorkMix can reveal.

And both teachers are currently on indefinite leave.

Dave Brown, head teacher of Clifton Green Primary School, has not been at school for some weeks. And Sara Goyea, head teacher of St Paul’s CofE Primary School, is also on leave.

YorkMix understands that both teachers are the subject of formal complaints submitted to the council.


Maxine Squire, the council’s assistant director of education and skills, said:

  • We can confirm that City of York Council has information involving Mrs Goyea, Headteacher at St Paul’s CE Primary school and we can confirm that City of York Council has information involving Mr Dave Brown, Headteacher at Clifton Green Primary School.

    The information on both is separately subject to investigation in line with the usual process and it is inappropriate for us comment further.

    Both of the schools have put in place appropriate cover and have informed parents.

The council declined to comment further.

Letters to parents

St Paul’s CofE Primary School in York. Photograph © Google Street View
A letter to Clifton Green parents dated 6 September states: “We are writing to inform you that Mr Brown, Headteacher, is currently taking a leave of absence for personal reasons.

“Nicola Jones, Deputy Headteacher, will be leading the school in Mr Brown’s absence.

“Please be reassured that the day-to-day running of the school for your child will be unaffected.”

Mr Brown has been head of Clifton Green since 2011. He was previously head of Heworth Primary.

A similar letter was sent to parents of St Paul’s school, based on St Paul’s Terrace, on 9 September. It stated:

“We are writing to inform you that Mrs Goyea, Headteacher, is currently taking leave of absence for personal reasons.

“Christie Waite, Assistant Headteacher, will be leading the school in Mrs Goyea’s absence.”


Mrs Goyea was a deputy head at Clifton Green Primary School before taking up the top job at St Paul’s.

John Kesterton, Clifton Green chair of governors, told YorkMix: “School is operating as normal during Mr Brown’s period of absence, for which, suitable cover arrangements are in place and parents have been informed.

“Governors are working alongside the senior leadership team and all staff to maintain the best in education and outstanding community spirit that characterises Clifton Green.”