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Pounds 10,000 award, but still no job

A sociology teacher forced out of his comprehensive school job under a redeployment scheme has been awarded Pounds 10,000 compensation.

Now more than two years after being redeployed from Outwood Grange High School, Wakefield - followed by redundancy two terms later - Michael Lock is having to teach part-time at local colleges, despite a series of tribunal rulings in his favour.

Mr Lock's employment rights were ignored by his school's board of governors and Wakefield district council when he was forced into a redeployment procedure which had effectively been made illegal under the 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA).

He had 15 years' experience and was earning Pounds 19,000 when he was moved in May 1992 from Outwood Grange because of a budget crisis.

The school's board of governors failed to give him notice of dismissal - a requirement under the Act - and when he refused a union-brokered deal for his post to be half-funded directly by Wakefield, with his contract moved from the school to the authority, he was unilaterally redeployed to the LEA's central teaching pool.

He was found work at another Wakefield school for the autumn term, but fell under a round of redundancies within the central teaching pool. His old post, which the school said it could fill only as a half-time post, had been filled by an unqualified teacher. She was later made redundant and has pursued her own action for unfair dismissal.

Mr Lock has won five industrial tribunals and is adamant he wants his old job back. The school is refusing to re-employ him, despite rulings ordering this. Now it no longer offers sociology.

He has asked Education Secretary Gillian Shephard to order the governing body to reinstate him - and is planning to sue the school and Wakefield for breach of contract and negligence if that fails.

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