Defeatist unions need to be challenged
People who have been involved in hearings have found to their horror that they have no rights to anything beyond the governors' appeals committee - a kangaroo court. The careers, houses and lives of excellent teachers are being compromised by heads who are allowed to do anything to bring about constructive dismissals with the consent of the governors' disciplinary sub-committee.
In my case, I have been given renewed hope by the example of Rob Prior who was unfairly dismissed by the governors of the Claremont High School in Brent but who was successful in judicial review proceedings. The Secretary of State should have intervened and compensation was awarded.
In The TES (May 5) he challenged his union, the NASUWT, to do something about bullying in the workplace. It had been reluctant to defend him but if it was "seen to be fierce in defence of its members it will both chasten rogue heads and encourage members to resist bullying".
My advice to anyone facing disciplinary proceedings is to establish whether the head and governors are acting legally under section 3 of the l988 Education Reform Act. We cannot depend on our unions to do this. You may find, as I have, that the law is being broken and that you have the right to claim constructive dismissal and go to a tribunal.