Chetham’s head to leave after 16 years in post
THE headteacher of Chetham’s School of Music has announced she is stepping down after 16 years in the job.
According to a school spokeswoman, the departure of Claire Moreland is unconnected to separate trials later this year of violinists Malcolm Layfield and Wen Zhou Li who face sex charges.
The head, who has been in place since 1999, announced her exit in an email to 300 students, saying she wanted to give the governors plenty of notice to find her replacement before her retirement in 2016.
She wrote in her email to students: “I am sharing my decision with 18 months’ notice in order to liaise with the school governors as they appoint my successor, and then to work with the new head to lay the foundations for the next exciting phase for Chetham’s, not least involving our new world-class Concert Hall!
“It has been a rare privilege to serve as head of this unique establishment, and I would like to thank everyone sincerely for all the wonderful support I have received throughout my time here, support which has helped me to lead the school
In recent years the school has been rocked by a string of scandals relating to previous teaching staff.
In 2013 the school’s former choir director Michael Brewer, 68, of Selly Oak, Birmingham, was jailed for six years for indecently assaulting former student Frances Andrade in 1979 and 1980.
Mrs Andrade killed herself at her home in Guildford, Surrey, a week after giving evidence against him. formerly of Macclesfield, was jailed for eight months for assaulting a teenage girl from the school. Two further cases involving former teachers are also set to take place.
Violin teacher Malcolm Layfield, 62, of Victoria Pit Marina, Higher Poynton, Cheshire, a music professor at ‘Chets’, has denied a single count of rape of a young woman in the 1980s.
Another violin teacher, Wen Zhou Li, 59, of Vale Royal Drive, Northwich, has been charged with
●●Claire Moreland, who has announced she is leaving Chetham’s School of Music