ROYAL Grammar School headmaster Tim Dingle has been sacked for gross misconduct.

Mr Dingle, 46, had been the subject of an external investigation following allegations of drug taking made by a woman claiming to be his ex-lover in the Daily Mail in February.

He was dismissed even though he had resigned to take up another post and was due to leave at Easter anyway.

Andrew Higginson, chairman of governors at the school in Amersham Road, High Wycombe, said: "It is regrettable that we have had to take this course of action, but we had no choice given the evidence before us.

"Our priorities are and always will be the school and its pupils, and we must ensure that the behaviour of staff is consistent with the values on which the school is founded."

The allegations were made by 35-year-old Nicky Barr, who claimed Mr Dingle had snorted cocaine at parties and wooed her by pretending to be a top London surgeon called James Bunyard.

Mr Dingle, pictured right, has always denied any allegation of drug taking.

It is believed other women came forward to give evidence against Mr Dingle in the investigation.

The Royal Grammar School governors have not revealed the reason for Mr Dingle's dismissal.

In an interview with the BBC Mr Higginson said there was no evidence to back a claim by Ms Barr that he had used drugs taken from Royal Grammar School pupils. Mr Higginson said: "The findings were of sufficient seriousness to require there to be consequences. In this case, the only proper consequence of Tim's actions, in our view, was dismissal."

He said the school was "far bigger than any one individual".

Mr Dingle had intended to leave his post at the school over Easter to take up a lucrative role at a top English-speaking public school in Buenos Aires.

However following the allegations he resigned "for personal reasons" from the post as headmaster at St George's College, known as the Eton of Argentina.

New headteacher Roy Page said it was inappropriate to comment.