A row about the return of a headmaster to a failing school has split the pupils and their parents into warring factions.

The Argus reported last week that a petition had been launched demanding that Adam Lenkiewicz, the head of St Catherine's Catholic Primary in Littlehampton, be prevented from returning to his duties.

Several parents have since contacted The Argus voicing their support for Mr Lenkiewicz and have said the campaign to get him out was started by a minority of parents.

Jane Young, of Brickfield Close, Bognor, travels daily to take her son to the school.

She said: "Nobody asked us for a vote of no confidence. West Sussex County Council do not know what they're doing."

West Sussex County Council has announced that Mr Lenkiewicz would not be returning to the school after the half term after being on long-term sick leave.

Mrs Young, who has sent all three of her children to the school, added: "Mr Lenkiewicz has been a fantastic headteacher and the children have missed him terribly.

"The school to me is brilliant. Mr Lenkiewicz has always made the children very welcome and he's shown very good leadership."

Another parent, who did not wish to be named, said: "It has split the playground. Nobody personally is to blame but some parents are just trying to point out one person. You cannot blame one person for all that has happened."

She added that another petition had been started in support of Mr Lenkiewicz to get him back to the school.

Last week the council refused to explain why Mr Lenkiewicz would not be returning, or whether he would be returning at a future date.

In a joint statement Colin James, from the council's schools department, and Elizabeth Bedford, the chair of St Catherine's board of governors, said: "We will provide you with further information during the second half of the term.

"In the meantime the local authority and the governing body will continue to work closely together to support the school and an interim headteacher arrangement will continue. It remains a priority for all concerned for the school to move forward."

When contacted by The Argus regarding the support from parents, a council spokesman said there was nothing to add to the previous statement.

St Catherine's, in Highdown Road, was considered one of the best schools in Sussex but was placed into special measures last September after Ofsted inspectors delivered a damning verdict of its performance.

The school will continue to be closely monitored by the regulators for the next 18 months and could be forced to close if it fails to show improvement.

Do you support Mr Lenkiewicz? Leave your comments below.