Mike Fairclough

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Mike Fairclough demonstrates he favourite teaching aid on Good Morning Britain at the height of his fame in 2016.
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I was the only serving UK headteacher or school principal to have publicly questioned lockdowns, masking kids and the Covid vaccine rollout to children.
—Mike Fairclough[1]
He has let that school down and been so distracted by all of his Covid and anti-establishment rantings… that he hasn’t done his job.
—Parent of West Rise Junior School pupil[2]
I feel that I have been discriminated against, harassed and bullied for exercising my right to lawful free speech.
—Mike Fairclough[2]

Mike Fairclough (1973–)[3] is an antivaxxer, conspiracy theorist, and the former head of a state primary school in Eastbourne, England.[2]

Fairclough served for 19-years as headmaster (he prefers the "old school" terminology) of West Rise Junior School, a state primary in Eastbourne, with around 360 pupils, where he achieved public fame and professional plaudits by opposing the "elf and safety brigade" to add such "character building" subjects as fire-making, rabbit-skinning, and shooting to his syllabus.[4][5]

In September 2023, however, Fairclough stepped down stating his intention to take the local council to employment tribunal. He had been on a leave of absence since November 2022 following complaints from parents about his public statements and associations.[2][6] He justified these controversial opinions, which had gotten him banned from Twitter,[2] in a public statement:

As a headteacher, I have had a legal duty to safeguard children against harm. My professional field of expertise is child development and education. I have publicly shared my opinion on the following matters concerning the health and welfare of children:

  1. That lockdowns harm children and cause economic damage which harms the most vulnerable in society.
  2. That I disagree with masking children.
  3. That I feel that the risks from the Covid vaccines for children outweigh any possible benefits. Children are at extremely low risk of serious illness from Covid. The Covid vaccines pose known risks and have no long-term safety data. A child can still catch and spread Covid when vaccinated against the virus.

It has therefore been entirely reasonable and relevant for me to express my lawful opinions on these matters in the interest of safeguarding children against harm. — Mike Fairclough[7]

Fairclough sends his own kids to HOPE Sussex, a suspected illegal school for the kids of antivax parents, which his wife is involved in running. During his leave of absence, he gave a talk there praising the “global freedom movement” and its opposition to the plan by “globalists” to “disempower people and take away their freedoms”.[8]

Despite being cleared of a breach of headteacher standards, he refused to return to work, claiming that the council’s inability to rule out further investigations was “damaging to his health”.[2] He subsequently launched a funding campaign to cover the costs of his legal challenge.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Controversial former Eastbourne headteacher who resigned starts crowdfunder to help pay for legal fees by Sam Pole (October 10, 2023) Sussex World
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Head linked to Hope Sussex ‘conspiracy school’ quits by Tom Ball and Dominic Kennedy (September 9, 2023) The Times (archived September 9, 2023)
  3. Mike FAIRCLOUGH Companies House
  4. Meet the hunky headmaster who teaches kids to use a shotgun by Harry Wallop (February 7, 2016) The Telegraph
  5. School with guns, knives and fire on the timetable – and Ofsted loves it by Liz Lightfoot (October 4, 2016) The Guardian
  6. Eastbourne headteacher resigns after alleging he was 'discriminated against, harassed and bullied' by Sam Pole (September 11, 2023) Sussex World
  7. Eastbourne Headteacher Resigns: ‘I Have Been Discriminated Against, Harassed and Bullied’ by Peter Lindsey (September 7, 2023) Bournefree Live
  8. Hope Sussex school trains next generation of conspiracy theorists by Tom Ball (January 21, 2023) The Times (archived January 21, 2023)