Joke-row staff protest at suspension

Most of the 80 staff at Manchester's Wright Robinson High School staged a protest last Monday to support their colleague, David Goff, who was suspended on the last day of the autumn term for making a joke about school inspectors.

Mr Goff, head of personal and social education and religious education, wrote a variation on the renowned George Bernard Shaw dictum in a 90-page departmental handbook: "Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach become PSE teachers, and those who can't teach PSE become OFSTED inspectors."

The headteacher, Neville Beischer, ordered Mr Goff off the premises after suspending him for "serious misconduct".

The teachers have mounted a campaign to reinstate Mr Goff, who is also the school's National Union of Teachers' representative. They raised 300 signatures for a petition at a local market last Saturday. The NUT has requested its members not to cover any of his lessons.

Next Wednesday, Mr Goff is due at an initial investigatory hearing at the council's education offices. The headteacher has the options of taking no further action, giving him a verbal warning or requesting that the matter be considered by the governors' staffing committee.

His colleagues are planning a rally later that day. "We hope it will be a victory one," said a campaign member.

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