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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 8810
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I'm a teacher and have been accused of gross misconduct for

Customer Question

I'm a teacher and have been accused of gross misconduct for compromising pupils health and safety in one lesson when the only issues were that lightweight dried peas were thrown by several students around the classroom and a student put a few stools in front of one of the 2 doors exiting the classroom then quickly removed them. Does my employer have a case for gross misconduct? It was made clear to me that my employer was basing their judgement solely on this lesson.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today. How long have you worked for the employer for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
About 10 years. They started to target me a few years ago, and I was told by a member of staff at that time that someone was coerced into giving me a low grade for a lesson observation to help start capability proceedings.This is a totally separate issue, and I was told in the meeting telling me about the gross misconduct allegation that it was not linked to any other problems, but I am sure that similar behaviour occurs regularly around the school, and other teachers have not been put into this situation for it.Although I cannot provide any evidence, part of me wonders if they want to get rid of staff like me at the top of the pay scale, since they nearly always take on Newly Qualified teachers, who are cheaper, and obviously have a more relevant skillset. We are often being told that the school is short of funds.
Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
I'm sorry for the delay in responding to you I went offline last night. Is there any truth in the allegation?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As I said, it is true that lightweight dried peas were thrown, and one student put a few stools in front of one of the doors.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you able to answer my question?
Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry for the delay I was called off line. Would you still like help with this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes please.
Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
Did you take steps to prevent the students from doing this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didn't expect the students to pick up the peas. They were in a tub with a lid on at the front of the class, ready for a fete game I was due to be running. I had to leave the room for a few seconds to ask for support from another member of staff to deal with a student who was being disruptive, then realised the students were throwing peas when I got back. I warned them that anyone I saw doing that would get a detention, and watched then carefully to spot who was responsible. After the lesson I entered the notes to issue detentions to the pupils I had seen throwing on the school computer system. Due to focussing on spotting who was responsible, I didn't see a boy who put a few stools in the doorway (This would only have taken a few seconds) . When the head of science tried to come in, she asked him to move the stools, and he did, again within a few seconds, so it couldn't have been many stools. I didn't see the stools, so I don't know exactly where they were or how many there were. There was another exit from the room and only about 20 people in the room, so I cannot understand how I jeapardised the pupils health and safety.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still in discussion with me about this? Thanks
Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry for the delay. Just preparing a response.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi JennyI don't mind a delay, but can you give me an idea of the time scale in which I can expect a response please?Thanks
Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
Will be by close of business tomorrow.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi JennyI would still appreciate your response to my question.Thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi
Can I have a message from the new solicitor please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can you explain why I have not had a response from the new solicitor please?

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