The ex-head teacher of Henry Fawcett Primary School, James Walker, has launched a constructive unfair dismissal case against Lambeth Council and the school's executive board.
Mr Walker was in charge of the Henry Fawcett school from September '99 until February '08, when he was diagnosed with cancer and underwent two operations. Seven months later, (September '08), he returned to work, only to be suspended in November '08 due to an allegation made by a staff member (which was unrelated to the school's educational standards or financial management). Following the suspension, he submitted a disability discrimination claim against Lambeth Council.
During his suspension, in July '09, Lambeth Council dismissed 12 governors from Henry Fawcett. Kate Hoey said to the Evening Standard at the time, "I feel that [Mr Walker] has not been treated in a way that would generally be considered to be justified and when the governors supported him, they got rid of them."
In September '09, whilst Mr Walker had been absent from the school, an Ofsted inspection was undertaken, and the school was considered to be failing. Henry Fawcett was immediately placed in special measures (but has more recently had these removed).
Mr Walker claimed to have "management concerns" in the school, prior to his sick-leave which were "dismissed", but these were later raised with him upon his return to work. He resigned recently (September '10), but has now launched a constructive unfair dismissal claim which means that a resignation has occured because an employment contract has theoretically been substantially breached
It would be useful to have a little more insider information on this matter. It is, however, worth noting, that Kate Hoey MP has backed James Walker, which potentially demonstrates the existence of an injustice at some stage.
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