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Urgent help please - dismissal of colleague

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by lisaedu, Sep 19, 2020.

  1. lisaedu

    lisaedu New commenter

    I am currently assisting a teacher colleague who has been dismissed for what I consider to be artificially constructed and spurious reasons.

    The Trust has used history on his personnel record to bolster their case which are matters from several years ago that he was not aware of and neither was his immediate line manager (we can deal with that) but also an issue from late last year which was proven to have been nothing to do with him. However this issue is on his record and they have used it against him (new management so the headteacher who exonerated him no longer works at the school).

    My understanding is that if it has been proven that there was no case to answer then this should not remain on the HR record. I read this somewhere at the time (DfE guidance I think) but I can't now find it. Can anyone help me please. The hearing is next Thursday.

    Union has been worse than useless and will not be attending having mucked up big time at the original hearing.

    Many thanks
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Your best bet is to go to the DfE website and look for guidance on professional conduct including dismissal. As the Union has been frozen out there is limited legal advice anyone can give.

    Then get this thread deleted. You ha e given a lot of information here that could make your colleague recognisable if anyone from the Trust is reading, plus you've put forward your own view on the case. This could make things a lot worse.
  3. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    If the information on their record incorrect or can be misinterpreted because of the way it is recorded then the school may be in breach of the Data Protection Act (GDPR). If their record states that there was an issue but on investigation was found to be false then I am not sure how that could be used against them anyway.

    They could ask for a copy of their file to check all the other information in it is correct.
    agathamorse and CWadd like this.
  4. tiredbutstrong

    tiredbutstrong New commenter

    I completely empathise we have been in a similar situation with union advice and help making things a whole lot worse and undoable - they finally refused to represent.
    The first thing is, this is both Data issue and Employment issue. In terms of the data issue, contact the ICO, there’s lots of information there about how an organisation may have handled your data incorrectly, they have templates too, so get those sent ASAP. The second issue is the employment one, which requires legal know how. I’d advise your colleague to get in touch with their hone insurance and find out if they are covered with legal protection. That way, they have both the advice and representation to hand.
    Finally, ask your colleague to keep a log off everything. If employed for over 2 years, they may be able to to put in a claim for unfair dismissal.
    Hope things improve, and well done for helping your colleague out when most would selfishly turn away.
    agathamorse likes this.
  5. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Union will not be attending because they have been asked by your colleague not to or because they are unwilling to support this case?

    No sure you are correct about expunging HR records esp of safeguarding information, not saying it is.
  6. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Unclear on your friend's current status. Have the school already dismissed him? If so what is happening next week? Is it a Dismissal Appeal hearing in front of a panel of governors/trustees?

    Can you clarify why union isn't involved? If he is entitled to union support why didn't he ask for a different union officer from regional officer to support?

    No disrespect to you but your post doesn't suggest to me that you have much knowledge of employment law. You don't, for example, mention the all-important point of what grounds for appeal are allowed under your trust's disciplinary policy. Is it a full merits appeal that will hear the case afresh? Or just a procedural review? Or something in between?

    Are you sure he was "proven" to have nothing to do with whatever happened last year? Was there a formal disciplinary earing? What evidence does he have that it was proven? If it was proven by a previous headteacher headteacher but it isn't on his file what steps have you taken to get witness evidence from the old head?

    Your colleague needs legal advice. He should speak to a lawyer on Monday and attempt to get the Appeal hearing rescheduled to enable him to get proper legal advice.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020
  7. cheesypop

    cheesypop Senior commenter

  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Why are you assisting? Are you the union rep? Are your opinion of the reasons for dismissal relevant?
    These questions matter and affect what anyone might say.
    What hearing is this? Your colleague has been dismissed and is appealing? Does he have grounds?
    'My mate thinks the reason for dismissal is artificially constructed and spurious' isn't considered grounds for appeal.
    By 'mucked up' I assume you mean they didn't prevent your colleague being dismissed? Unions cannot be held responsible for the decisions of disciplinary panels, they are there to ensure facts are presented and that fair procedures are followed in line with policies and employment law.

    Your colleague desperately needs union support and advice, from a different caseworker if they feel the first wasn't good enough.
    Advice from a forum such as this could well make things worse for your colleague.
    asnac, Piranha and mothorchid like this.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Neither of those are about school disciplinary hearings and dismissal decisons. I doubt they have much relevance to dismissal hearings.

    They're about how the statutory teacher barring system works.

    AFAIK DfE doesn't publish any detailed guidance on school disciplinary hearings but ACAS do.
    Pomza likes this.
  10. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Sorry, but this is very relevant. As has been said on many occasions, the opinions of people on these forums are given in an attempt to be helpful, but do not constitute expert advice when it comes to employment law. If you do not have the required legal knowledge, as is obvious form your post, then your best advice to your friend would be to find somebody who does. Usually, that would be via your union, but if your friend has totally lost confidence in the union, then an employment expert would be needed, Some home insurance packages include legal advice.
  11. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Apologies OP if this is not you but there has been a poster called Lisa shaking the trees on TES Community before with child/partner abuse stories.
    As stated above...this is a case for clear, professional legal advice.

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