Mark Bushnell search: Fears for missing Durham School teacher

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Media captionA search of the area at Blackhall is continuing

A major search is continuing along the County Durham coast for the deputy head of a leading boarding school who has been missing since Sunday.

A car belonging to Mark Bushnell, 50, who is a teacher at Durham School, was later found at a clifftop car park at Blackhall, near Peterlee.

Staff and pupils at the 600-year-old school were said to be deeply concerned for the married father-of-three.

The coastguard and mountain rescuers are aiding police in the search.

Mr Bushnell was last seen at about 11:30 GMT on Sunday, when he left his home in Durham City in his grey Citroen C3.

The teacher, who is 5ft 10in tall, slim, with closely shaved grey hair, was possibly wearing a checked shirt and brown or blue jeans.

'Highly respected'

Ch Insp Andy Huddleston, of Durham Police, said: "We are growing increasingly concerned for Mr Bushnell and need to trace him as soon as possible.

Image copyright Durham Constabulary
Image caption Mr Bushnell was appointed Durham School's deputy head in charge of pastoral care in July 2012

"He is a well-respected member of staff whose actions appear to be totally out of character."

Head teacher Martin George added: "Mark is a highly respected colleague and friend who constantly works for the benefit of pupils.

"The whole school community is deeply concerned for his welfare and would urge him to contact his family as a matter of urgency."

Mr Bushnell worked for the Bank of England for a year after graduating before retraining as an economics teacher. He was appointed Durham School's deputy head in charge of pastoral care in July 2012.

Former pupils of the co-educational day and boarding school include actors Alexander Armstrong and Michael Gough, British Lions rugby player Geoff Parling, and Lord Justice Laws.

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