world : Teacher awarded £60,000 after forced move worsened menopause

world : Teacher awarded £60,000 after forced move worsened menopause
world : Teacher awarded £60,000 after forced move worsened menopause

Thursday 13 June 2024 10:30 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Ms Shearer, who was based at Clydesdale Support Base in Carluke, was told she would be moved to Kear School in Blantyre after she disagreed with a plan to allow a pupil with asthma to vape in every class.

Head teacher Neil Govan, who leads both schools within the Kear Campus group, told staff that supervising the underage pupil while vaping was part of the "duty of care owed by teaching staff to pupils", the tribunal heard.

However, the tribunal found there was no evidence to support the claim that moving Mrs Shearer out of her role at that school was a “punishment beating” for her objection to supervising vaping.

Ms Shearer - who was taking prescribed medication for menopause symptoms, high blood pressure, anxiety and low mood - became extremely anxious about the planned move, the hearing heard.

"She believed that there were high levels of violence and injuries to teaching staff at that school, that management were ineffective and authoritarian, and that there was a culture of blaming staff for being assaulted," tribunal documents said.

The tribunal said Ms Shearer had "regular nightmares and disrupted sleep" and "found it difficult to think about anything except the move to Kear School”.

The tribunal found Mr Govan's response to an occupational health report into Ms Shearer's situation to be "a dismissive, intransigent and unhelpful".

She was sacked while on sick leave after refusing an "ultimatum" which gave her four days notice to agree to moving to a permanent supply teaching role, or into a school for pupils with severe disabilities, which she felt she was unqualified for.

Ms Shearer had been based at the Clydesdale Secondary Support Base between 2015 and 2022, teaching English to Higher level, and maths and health and wellbeing to SQA National 5 level.

She was replaced by a primary supply teacher when she was removed from that post.

Kear Campus - South Lanarkshire Council’s group of schools for pupils with additional social, emotional and behaviour needs - provides full and part-time education across several bases in the county.

The court heard pupils at Kear School in Blantyre were those "most likely to exhibit distressed behaviour through violence, causing damage to property or attending under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other substances".

It had more than 20 teachers and support staff and could take 60 full-time secondary students, but attendance was normally between six and 20 pupils, the court said.

The judge said that “no reasonable employer would have insisted” that Shearer teach at Kear, given the effect of that proposal on her health

In awarding Ms Shearer £61,074.55 for unfair dismissal, loss of earnings and compensation for injury to feelings, the court said she was a "talented, experienced and successful teacher of English" who would be able to find another job near her home in East Renfrewshire.

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