THE relationship between a 30-year-old maths teacher and a
15-year-old student at Bishop Bell C of E School, in Eastbourne,
had been reported and was under observation before they disappeared
last weekend, the executive head teacher, Terry Boatwright, has
Sussex Police reported today that the teacher, Jeremy Forrest,
and the GCSE student, Megan Stammers, had been found safe and well
in France, after a Europe-wide police search. The pair, who took a
ferry from Dover to France on Friday, had failed to use their
A Police statement issued at lunchtime said: "Missing Megan
Stammers and Jeremy Forrest have been located safe and well in
France. They were found today (Friday 28 September) at 12.15 p.m.
UK time. Mr Forrest has been arrested on suspicion of child
abduction and Megan has been taken into protection. The information
which led to them being located came as a direct result of media
coverage in France. At this stage we are not confirming the
specific location where they were found. Their families have been
informed and arrangements will now be made for Megan and Jeremy's
Subsequent media reports said that the couple were found in
Bordeaux, in south-west France, and that Mr Forrest had been taken
into police custody. Several sightings were reported after Megan's
stepfather, Martin Stammers, made an emotional appeal on the BBC
programme Crimewatch, yesterday evening. Today, Mr
Stammers wrote on Twitter:"Thank you everyone for everything,
massive relief and thrilled to bits".
In a statement on Monday, Mr Boatwright - widely praised for
transforming standards at Bishop Bell, a voluntary aided
comprehensive, after taking over 16 years ago - said that the whole
school community had been shocked by the events.
"The thoughts and prayers of us all are with Megan and her
family. We would urge her to get in touch with her family, and echo
the police's call for anyone with information to contact them."
Mr Boatwright rejected claims that the school's
child-safeguarding procedures were ineffective, after it emerged
that, in 2009, another member of staff, Robert Healy, a PE teacher,
had been sent to prison for seven years after starting a sexual
relationship with two teenage girls.
The school again came under the spotlight when a former chairman
of governors, Canon Gordon Rideout, a retired priest, was charged
with 38 offences of child abuse over an 11-year period. Canon
Rideout was suspended in 2010, but remained a governor for a
Mr Boatwright said that Bishop Bell School had a "robust"
child-protection policy, which was rated excellent by OFSTED.