Essex School Supervisor 'Wins Tribunal'

A school playground monitor from Essex who was sacked for telling parents their daughter had been bullied in the playground says she has won a claim for unfair dismissal.

But Great Tey Primary School near Colchester has since denied that.

Carol Hall was sacked in 2009 after speaking to the local media about the case. She said, "This is the best new year news I could have,'' said Mrs Hill.

"This is the best new year news I could have. I am delighted and very relieved that the tribunal found that I was unfairly dismissed. I have always had the welfare of the children in my care at heart and I still miss working at the school.''

Mrs Hill - and the union Unison - claim that she has won her tribunal.

"The tribunal has upheld Carol Hill's complaint of unfair dismissal,'' said a Unison spokeswoman in a statement.

"The employment tribunal found that Carol's dismissal was procedurally unfair, in that the (school) did not carry out a reasonable investigation into the allegations against Carol and that the disciplinary and appeal hearings were not fair hearings.''

Unison said the tribunal panel would consider whether Mrs Hill should be compensated and reinstated at a hearing in Bury St Edmunds, scheduled for February 2.

The spokeswoman added: "There is going to be a remedies hearing therefore Mrs Hill must have won her claim for unfair dismissal."

But an Essex County Council spokeswoman said in a statement: "It is completely inaccurate to suggest that Mrs Hill has won her claim for unfair dismissal.

"Furthermore there has been no judgement on the fairness, or not, of the dismissal and the tribunal makes it clear there is need for further representation from both counsels to decide this point.

"On a number of critical points, the employment tribunal ruling has found against Mrs Hill including that she was not acting in good faith when speaking to the press and did so for the purpose of personal gain.

"The claimant's predominant motive was self interest and to a lesser extent antagonism towards (school head Deborah Crabb). The tribunal also ruled that disclosures were not protected under the Employment Rights Act, therefore she was not acting as a whistleblower.

"The council and school will now be considering all the options before making any further decisions or announcements.''

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