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Deputy head was unfairly dismissed

An employment tribunal has ruled that a deputy head teacher who was sacked after giving former pupils a tour of her school building was unfairly dismissed.

The teacher escorted two former pupils around Longview Community School when they were visiting from America. She said she was with them at all times and supervised them in taking three photographs in areas where there were no children.

However, she was later sacked for gross misconduct with an independent investigator saying he was “significantly shocked” by her actions, which he felt could have put pupils’ safety at risk.

The tribunal heard that the deputy head teacher had a difficult relationship with the school’s head. In her judgement, employment judge Rachel Barker said: “It is the claimant’s case that she was dismissed for exercising her professional judgement.

“I concur with the claimant’s assessment of the situation and find that this was what happened.

“No reasonable employer would have dismissed an experienced member of staff for exercising her professional judgement in this manner.”

The judge ruled that the decision to sack Miss Sherriff had been influenced, “subconsciously or otherwise”, by the desire to “seize an opportunity to conclude a protracted personnel problem”.

If you feel you’ve been unfairly dismissed, please contact solicitors specialising in employment law Ashley Hunt, Carrie-Ann Randall or Vaishali Thakerar at Lawson-West on 0116 212 1000.

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