'My sacking was unfair', says Wrexham teacher

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole

A DEPUTY headteacher who was sacked amid allegations of mistreating a pupil is now claiming unfair dismissal.

Deborah Ellis, of Mold, was one of two teachers dismissed from Hafod y Wern Primary School, Wrexham, following a lengthy investigation.

Ms Ellis’ Wrexham-based solicitor, Tudor Williams, described her treatment by the school’s governors as “grossly unfair” and he has filed a case of unfair dismissal with Cardiff Employment Tribunal Office.

He said: “Ms Ellis has 20 years of teaching history – 10 at this school – and her record is completely unblemished.

“She was acting in the interests of the child and the authorities have evidently failed to realise that.”

According to Mr Williams, the boy had refused to go back into the school building, which sparked concerns for his safety.

Ms Ellis, who was dismissed in February, was in charge on that day – June 15, 2010 – because the headteacher, Simon Edwards, was away on training and an assistant head was off sick.

Mr Williams added: “The boy’s mum had also been called to the school, but when she was delayed, Ms Ellis had to act.

“At no time did the boy’s mum complain about his treatment, which it was claimed included ‘physical misconduct and emotional abuse’.

“Nor did the police believe any law had been broken.

“In short, Ms Ellis’ treatment was massively out of proportion to her actions.

“Her professional integrity has been damaged and a good name is hard to repair once it has been attacked, but I will do everything in my power to see that justice is done.”

Emlyn R Jones, chairman of governors at the Caia Park school, confirmed that the dismissals, which also included the disciplining of two teaching assistants, had been taken after a three-month probe into alleged incidents captured on the school’s CCTV system.

But a spokesman for the National Union of Teachers, who confirmed one of the teachers was a member, has questioned the decision.

“It involved a child being moved to a place of safety,” he said.

“In these circumstances the NUT believe that the decision to dismiss was perverse.”

John Davies, Wrexham Council’s head of lifelong learning, children and young people’s services, said: “This is a personnel issue and as such we are unable to comment because issues are not yet fully resolved.”

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