THE controversial conduct of the Ruthin School principal, which led to his sacking earlier this year, will come under scrutiny at a public inquiry into child sexual abuse.

Toby Belfield was accused of sending inappropriate texts to pupils, and in particular one teenage girl who said the messages from him became so frequent it had a serious impact on her mental health.

In addition to examining Mr Belfield’s conduct, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will look into the current system of safeguarding children in education in Wales, and consider its adequacy.

The opening statements to the inquiry refer to: “The obsolescence and lack of bite of the current regulatory regime for independent schools in Wales.”

It will also be concerned with the ability of local authorities and other statutory bodies to force a change the school’s management and their ability to intervene in what they perceived to be unsafe culture.

The Inquiry also heard: “Mr Belfield was eventually sacked as head and the chair of the Council of Management resigned, but this was only after considerable pressure was put upon the council of management by statutory bodies.”

When the controversy erupted at the beginning of this year Ruthin School was criticised by Welsh Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, who stated the school does not meet the required standards for pupils’ welfare, health and safety of pupils.

At the time a spokesperson for the independent boarding school said: “This has been, and remains, a highly sensitive and challenging situation.

“A number of external investigations have been conducted over some months, and the school’s Council of Management has worked with relevant agencies throughout and continues to do so.”

The spokesperson added: “The school’s Council of Management received a verbal interim report from the external person we appointed to independently review Mr Belfield’s conduct, and on the basis of that report has decided to terminate Mr Belfield’s employment with immediate effect.”

The Public Inquiry will also be looking at a number of cases of child sexual abuse at schools in England.