Ipswich: Teaching Assistant Gets £28,000 For Unfair Dismissal

A teaching assistant has received a £28,000 payout after being sacked from a school for keeping in touch with her sex offender son.

Tracy Hodgkinson lost her job at Halifax Primary School in Ipswich, Suffolk, in January last year.

It came after her son, who was 18 at the time, was jailed for two and a half years in May 2010 for grooming and sexual activity with a girl under the age of 14.

She claimed the school had set out to get rid of her after she informed them of her son's arrest and in December an employment tribunal found she had been unfairly dismissed.

The 47-year-old said she could not abandon her son after her daughter, Shona Gill, died from a rare form of cancer in December 2004.

Headteacher Anna Hennell James issued a statement on behalf of herself and the school's governing body.

It said:"We are disappointed that the tribunal did not see fit to uphold our decision to dismiss Mrs Hodgkinson, however we are pleased that the judge agreed with our view that it would be inappropriate to reinstate her.

"Our main priority has always been, and will continue to be, the safety of children in our care.''

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