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Gross misconduct?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by meggyd, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

  2. TrueFaith

    TrueFaith Occasional commenter

    I don't think the relationship on its own is enough, but the subterfuge surrounding it, as well as not declaring the conflict of interest could well be.
  3. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    I am comfortable with the outcome.

    We do not know all of the details, but the disciplinary panel and the appeals panel did, and they made the decisions.
  4. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    From what I've read, I doubt it was the relationship that was the issue - the fact she lied to the HT and also wasted police time claiming the parent was harrassing her was the issue, but then took him on a school trip.
  5. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    I am not saying that her behaviour was good but I do feel that teachers deserve a private life. I do not think a headteacher has a right to ask about a partner provided everyone is of age.
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    At the end of the article it states -
    'The claimant's inability to recognise safeguarding issues was clearly a serious matter for the respondent. Her actions amounted to gross misconduct.' It seems reasonable to me. And of course we are not being told everything.

    Once you enter the realm of ‘safeguarding’ in schools there are serious protocols, systems and procedures in place that all should adhere to.
    jlishman2158, DYNAMO67 and nomad like this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    A disciplinary panel, an appeal panel and a tribunal all seem to think there was gross misconduct and dismissal was the right outcome.

    I can't for the life of me see how any of us know enough to argue otherwise.
  8. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    Once a HT wants you out, s/he only has to bring up any flimsy safeguarding excuse and that's the end of the story. I knew a teacher in my NQT year who was got rid of for refusing to fiddle exams; they trumped up an obscure "breach of the school's code" - which for sure neither I nor my then departmental colleagues were aware of, including our fifteen-years-at-the-school HoD - and she went through the panel and the appeal but was still out. A good, hard-working English teacher, liked and respected by staff and pupils alike too.

    From what I have seen and read since I started, teachers can't beat a school's disciplinary system; it's rigged against them.
    agathamorse likes this.
  9. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I thought the same when I read the headline. Reading the article it seems the relationship with the parent(s) was secondary to some significant safeguarding issues and potential harassment of colleagues though.
    nomad likes this.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This teacher appears not to have been barred from teaching or referred to any agency as a matter of concern. The material fact of her dismissal is what has made the news, and I imagine there are many more teacher dismissals which do not.
    So it's a shame for her that somebody managed to weasel the story into the paper when actually there appears to be no onus on the school itself to have publicised the matter in any way. I can share that I have known of a dismissal where great pains were taken to hide the fact of it happening, and that directive came from up high, and so it can never be known amidst the huge numbers of "disappeared" that we have all witnessed-were they dismissed or did they just jump?.
    This makes me more sad than any wrong that has or has not been done, that fact that somebody in that school community was prepared to goss to somebody else about the progression of the dismissal, to want to then somehow feel important and special by sharing the stuff with the press. Or maybe vindictive.
    Is it not hard enough already, or if applicable, a lesson enough, to have lost your job?

    Chinwaggy thread.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
    agathamorse likes this.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Could well be the teacher themselves... the dismissal was in Autumn 2018, then and appeal and then a tribunal. That's the end of the road really and maybe the teacher wanted to highlight the unfairness of the school and it went wrong?
    Or maybe one of the spurned parents is getting revenge? Or the wife of the parent she had an affair with? Or her own ex-husband?
    We don't know.
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    The article has been updated since I originally posted. I agree that the sharing of info about a child to another parent probably is gross misconduct but as for the rest like the trip, well maybe she didn't organise it and then saw a name on the list. Who knows?
  13. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It's the Employment Tribunal hearing that puts it in the public domain. Not only are hearings public (well, they were pre- CV19) but the Tribunal decision, including all the factual stuff about who did what, are public documents that are posted on gov.uk. (Although this decision wasn't there yet when I looked just now). There's no reason to assume it was the school that got this into the newspapers.
  14. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Would it have to be somebody in the school community, or could it just be that newspapers keep an eye on employment tribunals to find things that will appeal to their readers?

    Edit: I didn't see post #13 before I typed this.
  15. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Not if it gets to the stages of involving an employment tribunal.
    TheoGriff likes this.
  16. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Well yes, but I also looked, which is why I stated that it was not by necessity made public.
    No referral, no tribunal info, and yet the timeline was in the press
    Plus the email contact for the journalist who wrote it, fishing for the story, having pilfered the skeleton details from the Times.
    Plus three updates.
    All there to see.

    It jumped out at me that the source of the info could only be from somebody who was not compelled to publicise it.

    Ach, dunno. It's just a thing of mine that I don't like to read about the misdemeanours of school staff on these forums because I know that a whole school community is drawn into ill feeling and gossip, and personal dignity and integirty can be questioned purely from a thing being made public when really it ought to be put to rest. Just a thing that bugs me generally. Just me.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
    jarndyce likes this.
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    The original article has a line that said something like 'Do you know more about this story? Email us on gossip@causetrouble.com'
    So possibly a journalist saw the tribunal list and created a story from gossip with more added now.
    agathamorse, jarndyce and TheoGriff like this.
  18. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    And somebody responded. And the story was then updated three times.
    I just find that an oddly sullied way to make yourself important.
  19. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I feel sorry for her. She's trying to put her life back together, working as a private tutor, after what seems to have been some poor decisions, and then the MailOnline comes along looking for something salacious to fill its pages and splashes her all over the internet.

    I might feel differently if it emerged that she really was a safeguarding risk to children but that all seems a bit flimsy from what's been published so far.

    I hope she doesn't read the Comments under the MailOnline article. They'll make her feel even worse. Some are supportive - 'what's her love life got to do with the school?' - but many are disgustingly (and crudely) judgemental about her.
  20. Jonntyboy

    Jonntyboy Lead commenter

    Point taken. But the woman in question had only started a term or so before I had and she wasn't protected, apparently, from what we gathered. (I don't know much about employment law though).

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