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Tribunal upholds unfair dismissal claims of two teachers against Holywell school

A TEACHER who claimed she was unfairly chosen for redundancy because the school head had a grudge against her has won her case.

An employment tribunal upheld the claim of Denise Lund, who had worked at Ysgol y Fron in Holywell for 20 years.

She and her friend Linden Moore were the two members of staff who lost their jobs in May 2009 when the school needed to make savings of £75,000.

But Mrs Lund says that headteacher Peter Davies skewed the criteria to ensure she scored poorly when the assessments were being made.

That, she alleged, was because they had had disagreements over a few matters, including an unsubstantiated allegation of assault on a child and her request to finish work early because her horse was ill.

Mrs Lund said her specialist subjects, music and science, had both received a Grade 2 from inspectors, but that was not taken into account in the scoring system used by the school governors in selecting staff for redundancy.

Mrs Moore, from Flint Mountain, died in December, but her similar claim for unfair dismissal was pursued by her executors, their argument being that she was chosen and penalised for being a friend of Mrs Lund’s.

At the hearing in Towyn, the tribunal was told there were several incidents which showed Mr Davies was ill-disposed toward Mrs Lund, who lives in Rhosesmor, and was able to affect the decision of the governors.

Barrister Toby Kempster, for the claimants, said the processes were also flawed and it was unfair and unreasonable of the governors to have given the staff affected only six days to present alternatives to redundancies.

But Richard Bradley, for Flintshire County Council and the Ysgol y Fron governors, refuted the claims.

He said the allegations against Mr Davies were ‘misconceived’ and that the process had been conducted fairly.

The tribunal ruled that Mrs Lund’s and Mrs Moore’s claims for unfair dismissal were both well-founded, and another hearing will now be held to consider a conclusion.