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Head 'held autistic boy against wall'

A headmaster has resigned after being accused of manhandling an autistic pupil despite receiving the support of parents at the school including the boy’s mother and father.

James Gallogly, the head of St Benedict's Catholic Primary school in Wilmslow, Cheshire, quit after his "discipline methods" were questioned.

It was claimed that Mr Gallogly, 45, grabbed the eight year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and pinned him against the wall in the classroom last January.

The youngster, who has autism, has a history of behaviour issues at school and was later excluded for allegedly spitting and biting a teacher and throwing a chair at staff.

Mr Gallogy, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, resigned his post at the 160 pupil school following an investigation, which questioned his “discipline methods”.

The inquiry, during which he was suspended on full pay, was prompted by a complaint from a colleague who witnessed the incident.

But his resignation from his £60,000 a year post has sparked an angry backlash from parents, including the young boy’s parents.

Almost two dozen pupils, including the boy and his brother and sister, have since been withdrawn from the school.

The boy's parents, who are aged 28 and 45 but also cannot be named, wrote to the school urging Mr Gallogy be reinstated.

"We wrote a letter in support of Mr Gallogly because we don't believe that he's done anything (wrong),” said the boy's mother.

Mr Gallogly, who has worked at the school for 12 years, declined to comment. A spokesman for the school referred inquiries to the local authority.

A Cheshire East Council spokesman said Mr Gallogly was suspended after "other issues around his discipline methods" were investigated.

He said the decision came after the allegations were “investigated properly” by officials, the school governors and the Diocese of Shrewsbury.

"While the school has experienced some unsettled periods during this time, we now look forward to a fresh and consistent leadership for the future,” he said.

The school hopes to appoint a new head teacher before Christmas.