A London headteacher who turned around an underachieving comprehensive has been suspended after a probe into the school's finances.
The governing body of Quintin Kynaston School in St John's Wood suspended Jo Shuter on Wednesday following "serious allegations" relating to the management of the school.
The issue has been referred to the police. Ms Shuter was named headteacher of the year at the 2007 Teaching Awards and appointed CBE in June 2010.
She was one of the youngest heads in the country when she took over in 2002 and has improved the fortunes of the inner-city school over the years.
The specialist technology college, which has 1,428 students, has had three consecutive "outstanding" Ofsted inspections and gained academy status in 2011.
Patrick Lees, who chairs the school's governing body, said: "On receipt of serious allegations relating to the management of the school, governors took immediate action to initiate an investigation and are now referring the matter to the police.
"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 head teacher.
"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."
Academy schools come under the Education Funding Agency on behalf of the Department for Education.
A department spokesman said: "The suspension of the headteacher is a matter for the Quintin Kynaston Trust.
"The Trust have rightly taken responsibility for the situation and carried out a full independent investigation. We are confident it is taking appropriate action in response to the investigation’s findings.
"Unfortunately, no system of financial audit can guarantee it will prevent all wrongdoing. However, the financial accountability systems in place for academies are more rigorous than those for maintained schools and they enable swift resolution of any issues of financial impropriety.
"The spotlight of this accountability system demonstrates that academies cannot hide from their responsibilities and are held to account for their actions."