A POPULAR head of department at Penglais School has been sacked despite a petition to save his job gaining more than 1,400 signatures.

The Cambrian News understands that the secondary school’s head of art, Richard Edwards, was dismissed for gross misconduct following a disciplinary hearing on Friday.

The news comes after a petition started by Penglais School A-level pupil Eleanor Sutcliffe gained nearly 1,000 signatures within days and has now amassed 1,448 signatures.

Penglais School’s chair of governors, Richard John, and the county council have refused to confirm whether Mr Edwards has been dismissed.

Mr Edwards said he did not wish to comment.

Speaking to the Cambrian News this week, Miss Sutcliffe said she was “genuinely heartbroken” to hear from fellow pupils that Mr Edwards had been fired and questioned the way it had been handled.

“I am genuinely heartbroken,” Miss Sutcliffe said. “If you look at the comments on the petition, there are people in highly established positions who credit Ed with their success.

“There was a woman whose child is deaf and she was asking ‘why is this being taken away from my child?’"

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