An award-winning headteacher credited with turning around the fortunes of a school in north-west London has been suspended following claims of financial irregularities, police have confirmed.
Jo Shuter, headteacher of Quintin Kynaston School in St John's Wood, north-west London, since 2002, said the allegations were 'malicious and vindictive'.
'There is an investigation process ongoing and I'm not allowed to comment,' Ms Shuter, who was named headteacher of the year at the 2007 Teaching Awards and appointed CBE in 2010 after her school received an 'outstanding' rating from Ofsted, told BBC London.
'I urge people to wait and see the outcome.'
Patrick Lees, the chair of Quintin Kynaston School's governing body, said the matter had been referred to the police following 'serious allegations relating to the management of the school'.
'In order to facilitate this investigation and ensure that pupils' education is not compromised during this process, we have now also taken the decision to suspend the headteacher,' he said.
'Governors are seeking to reassure the school community, who will be undoubtedly shocked and unsettled by this news, that the highest priority is being given to the smooth running of the school and to this end, governors are seeking to appoint an interim head teacher as soon as possible.'
Scotland Yard confirmed police were investigating 'possible financial irregularities'.