Elizabeth Morris GTC hearing

28th November 2003 at 00:00
The governors of Pynes infant school, Bideford, have read with concern your reports (October 3 and 14 November) of proceedings before the General Teaching Council for England in respect of the former headteacher, Elizabeth Morris.

The GTC was considering whether or not to make a disciplinary order against Mrs Morris. This involved five charges against her for unacceptable professional conduct, three of which she admitted and two of which she contested.

Your reports of the GTC proceedings gave no indication that Mrs Morris's version of events, which were critical of me as chairman of governors, were totally repudiated during the proceedings at the GTC.

Mrs Morris was suspended as head of Pynes infant school following an internal audit and subsequently found guilty of gross misconduct by a governors' panel. She was allowed to resign as an alternative to immediate dismissal.

Her claim at the GTC hearing that I, as the chairman of governors, had intimidated her was not supported by independent evidence and does not explain why she signed her travel claim form in my name without my authority as though I had authorised the expenditure.

I never authorised Mrs Morris to sign her travel forms in my name and neither I nor any other governor ever gave Mrs Morris permission to absent herself from school during school hours without a suitable person being present to assume responsibility. Mrs Morris was found guilty of unprofessional conduct by the GTC on both counts, the two charges she contested. The GTC eventually made a conditional order against her and any return to teaching.

I continue to retain the confidence of the entire governing body and was re-elected unopposed as chairman this year.

David Brenton Chairman of governors Pynes community infant school Bideford Devon

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