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Ostracised by group

A teacher said this week that she was being persecuted for resigning from an Exclusive Brethren school. Members of the sect are "shut up", banned from having any contact with Brethren families, as soon as they leave. The teacher, who does not want to be named, said she left the Focus Learning Trust, which runs the Brethren's schools, at the start of this term because of stifling working conditions.

She said outside agencies were often employed to research children's coursework on the internet because pupils are banned from using computers.

"I did not feel at ease with this as teachers in any other sixth form would expect students to do their own research.

"Because I resigned, the school is refusing me a reference. So now I think I'm being persecuted for leaving.

"Anyone considering working in one of these schools should be warned."

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