A LEADING independent school in York has permanently excluded four children - two of whom were expelled following a drug investigation.

The exclusions - from St Peter's School in Clifton - have led to anger from a parent who complained that the school had not come forward about the incidents.

The man, who did not wish to be named, said: " A number of pupils have left and it seems to be related to drugs. That's what my child has said, but we haven't heard anything.

"I think parents should be better informed. I have asked my child's tutor, who said they couldn't comment. It's not the way to treat parents."

The Press understands a letter was later sent to the parents of pupils at the school, and staff were also informed.

Leo Winkley, head teacher of St Peter’s, said: "We can confirm that two pupils have left the school following an investigation regarding cannabis. Unrelated to that, a further two have left as a result of inappropriate behaviour using social media.

"We are absolutely committed to protecting our pupils from threats to their wellbeing, and we have an outstanding team of pastoral staff who are extremely competent in handling such issues. As a school, we nurture a happy and safe community in which children of all ages can enjoy learning and prepare for all that lies ahead."

A school spokeswoman would not confirm the ages of the children. She said both matters had taken place "in the last few weeks", and had been referred "to the relevant agencies".

Mr Winkley said: "We hold our pupils to very high standards of behaviour. Those who choose not to live by the values and rules of a caring and healthy community cannot expect to remain part of it.

"Teenagers are facing increasing temptations in their daily lives, and the pace of our fast-moving, highly connected world can be as overwhelming as it is empowering. Despite the extensive support and education that our pupils receive, some will still make mistakes. Schools and parents must face up to this reality together."

A North Yorkshire Police spokesman told The Press they had no record of any drug offences being reported at the school.