A headteacher has taken leave of absence as an investigation into student registrations is carried out.

James Fox, headteacher at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA), has left his post at the Chalky Road site while the investigation continues.

Both the school and the academy sponsors, The Aldridge Foundation, refused to confirm details of the investigation, other than it involves fewer than 20 students.

The school’s governing body, chaired by Zenna Atkins, said: “As the investigation is ongoing we cannot prejudice the outcome by saying more about it at this stage.

"We want to conclude the investigation as soon as possible and while we are not able to give exact timings as to the likely conclusion date at this stage, we will do so as soon as this is possible.

“Students’ education is the prime concern of the governors and staff at PACA.

“All steps are being put in place to ensure that students’ learning is unaffected by this.”

Letters were sent home to parents on Friday and while Mr Fox is away from the school Brendan Loughran, headteacher at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy in Lancashire, will support the senior leadership team and teachers.

A PACA spokeswoman said: “It’s a neutral investigation but we wanted to tell parents and staff to keep an open dialogue so we sent letters home on Friday.

“Zena Atkins has been in to run an assembly but we’ve not been told how long the investigation is likely to take or what it’s about.

“It’ll be very much business as usual and the school will continue to run as it has been. We are not releasing the details of the investigation because we don’t want to prejudice the outcome of the investigation.”

Peter Kyle, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Hove & Portslade, said: “PACA has come on leaps and bounds since its establishment.

“Governors and the school community have proven capable of overcoming challenges with speed and rigour.

“I have full confidence that they will also do so in this case whilst remaining focused on student needs at all times.”