A TEACHER has been suspended from an under-fire school amid an investigation into an Islamophobic item taken on to its premises.

In an image seen by the Gazette, a Colchester Royal Grammar School teacher can be seen holding a coffee mug depicting Jesus Christ and the Prophet Muhammad in its Lexden Road grounds.

For most Muslims, depicting a prophet is prohbited and Muhammad, or any of the other prophets of Islam, should not be pictured in any way.

A school spokesman says it is investigating the incident and robust action will be taken if necessary.

Gazette: Troubled - Colchester Royal Grammar School, Lexden RoadTroubled - Colchester Royal Grammar School, Lexden Road

It is the latest scandal to hit the grammar school which has some of the top educational results in the country.

Last July, Ofsted published a damning report which said leaders had failed to recognise a pervading culture in the school which does not promote equality and respect.

The inspector stated discriminatory remarks were “too common” among some pupils and leaders did not do enough to prevent or combat this.

Scarlett Mansfield, who attended the school’s sixth form in 2011, launched a blog which has seen hundreds of testimonies from current and former pupils alleging abuse.

The former student said yesterday she “wasn’t surprised” when she was made aware of the latest incident at the school.

Gazette: Concerned - Scarlett MansfieldConcerned - Scarlett Mansfield

She said: “The fact they had the audacity to bring it so blatantly into school, and, from what I hear of it, showing it off to students, shows he’s not even trying too hide his completely unacceptable views.

“It’s symbolic of wider culture. A pupil who reached out to me said they were horrified about it.”

The Gazette understands the teacher is subject to an ongoing investigation.

A Colchester Royal Grammar School spokesman said: “We have been notified an image has been shared online of an individual appearing to use a cup that has an offensive image on it.

“At this time we are looking into the matter.

“While we cannot comment on individuals, this will be reviewed in line with our policies and procedures and the appropriate robust action taken as necessary.”