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Head loses tribunal claim over sacking; But she is awarded 3 months pay.

Byline: ELGAN HEARN

A HEADTEACHER sacked after an investigation under child protection procedures has lost her claim for unfair dismissal.

Ann Hughes was suspended from her role as headteacher of Benllech's Ysgol Goronwy Owen in July 2011 as Anglesey County Council's education authority carried out an investigation. Later a disciplinary panel concluded "her continued employment was no longer sustainable" and recommended dismissal without notice. She was dismissed last September.

Mrs Hughes, from Llanfairpwll, claimed unfair dismissal and breach of contract against the school's governing body and Anglesey Council.

She has now had her claim of unfair dismissal rejected by an employment tribunal.

But the tribunal did say she had not been given due notice and awarded her three months pay in lieu of notice.

Mrs Hughes said: "I wanted to clear my name after many cruel and hurtful things were said about me.

"Now I feel that I can once again leave the house with my head held high.

"After nearly 40 years as a teacher I have an unblemished record.

"I never wanted to give up a job that I loved, but unfortunately I can't go back to the school.

"In this case there were no winner, Anglesey Council were told that they followed all the correct procedures in following the investigation process.

"I just feel this shows how vulnerable people can be, especially headteachers if there is a volume of complaints against them.

"One day the whole truth will come out."

An Anglesey County Council spokesman said: " The judgement arrived at by the Employment Tribunal states quite clearly that Mrs Ann Hughes' ''' unfair dismissal claim was rejected. " However, the tribunal was of the view that Mrs Hughes had not been given due notice regarding the termination of her employment and awarded three months pay in lieu of notice. This is common practice when an employee is dismissed.

"The tribunal judgment confirms the decision to remove Mrs Hughes from her post as head teacher." This finally bring to an end to the long-running saga at the school that has caused huge disruption to pupils and parents. In May 2011, five out of six teachers put forward a motion of no confidence in Mrs Hughes, claiming they were working in a "climate of fear" at the school.

By the end of that month, the five members were absent on sick leave, but returned in the new school year in September following Mrs Hughes suspension in July and two temporary headteachers had been put in charge.

Five temporary headteachers took the helm at the troubled school, which saw its numbers fall from 145 to 122 during the period.

In May, Tegwen Morris, the former headteacher of Ysgol Pencarnisiog, was appointed to the hotseat at Ysgol Goronwy Owen.

CAPTION(S):

Ann Hughes, ex-head of Ysgol Goronwy Owen, inset
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Jul 18, 2013
Words:466
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