Wiltshire Council are looking into allegations of racism and bullying levelled at a local primary school.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Malmesbury has found itself at the centre of a racism row after the Daily Mail reported headteacher Sue Woods used the N-word to describe a group of black children in November 2021.

It is understood that the group of children the headteacher is accused of talking about were not pupils at the school.

The Mail claim that in recent years the school has lost 22 members of staff and around a third of its pupils after parents pulled them out due to a number of concerns.

An interim board of governors is currently in place after seven governors resigned simultaneously in June, claiming their relationship with the school’s senior leadership had become “strained.”

The departing governors had urged the council and Clifton Diocese to investigate a range of issues over the past year but felt no action had been taken.

Responding to these claims, and to the allegations made in the national press, the council insisted they are working with the school to investigate any issues.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Malmesbury

Richard Hanks, director of education and skills at Wiltshire Council, said: “It is not appropriate to comment on individual allegations. However, we can assure the community that we are working with the school and partners to formally address any issues and concerns raised.

“We have robust policies and processes in place to deal with any incident reported to us. We are confident that the Interim Executive Board will ensure that governance is robust and rigorous with all appropriate processes being followed."

In an open letter, the resigning governors revealed they no longer felt that they were able to carry out their responsibilities.

They said: "We have not reached this decision lightly but regrettably our relationship with the senior leadership of the school has strained over the last few years.

“We have tried to fulfil our duty to you, the pupils of the school, the local authority and the Diocese but it has now reached the point where we feel we can longer discharge our statutory function with any true meaning.”

Despite the controversial allegations, St Joseph's achieved a “Good” rating in their last Ofsted inspection, just three months ago.

The school was contacted for comment and did not respond.

A spokesperson for the Interim Executive Board at St Joseph's told MailOnline: “As a responsible employer, we don't discuss the individual circumstances of any current or former employees.

“The Interim Executive Board will address the complaints and concerns raised, and ensure that governance is robust and rigorous with all appropriate processes being followed.”