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BBC Wales's Hefina Rendle
"It appeared the governors' strings were being pulled by others"
 real 28k

Friday, 9 March, 2001, 16:49 GMT
'Slap case' teacher's fair hearing right
Suspended Monmouthshire headteacher Marjorie Evans
Headteacher Marjorie Evans - convicted then cleared of slapping a pupil - has won the right to a "fair" disciplinary hearing after taking legal action.

At the High Court in Cardiff - in which 56-year-old Marjorie Evans was fighting for the right to return to St Mary's School in Caldicot - the judge ruled that disciplinary procedures at the school were inadequate.

St Marys' Primary School
Mrs Evans wants to return to St Mary's School in Caldicot

But Mrs Justice Bracewell said she was satisfied that Mrs Evans had been lawfully suspended after fresh allegations of pupil mistreatment were made against her.

The 56-year-old teacher was convicted of assault in July last year and was later cleared on appeal two months later. She believed she would be free to return to work almost immediately.

But when in December 2000 she announced her intention to do so, Monmouthshire Education Authority and school governors threatened her with further suspension if she "set foot in the school".

nut LOGO
The NUT has backed Mrs Evans

They felt it inappropriate given that disciplinary matters against her were still outstanding.

The judge agreed and ruled that Mrs Evans should not return to St Mary's until after an internal disciplinary hearing which is due to take place next Tuesday.

Initial police inquiries into allegations involving mistreatment of pupils by Mrs Evans were dropped when the Crown Prosecution Service decided it would not be taking any action.

But nine fresh claims of mistreatment were to emerge which, the High Court heard, consisted mainly of "shouting loudly at pupils".

Teachers outside magistrates court
Mrs Evans won the support of parents and colleagues

And it was this that prevented Mrs Evans resuming her career even though her suspension had come to an end.

Monmouthshire Council said it was anxious Mrs Evans did not return to work until after next week's disciplinary hearing.

On Thursday Mrs Evans's barrister, Andrew Green, accused education officials of having a "pig-headed attitude" over her application to return to school.

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See also:

12 Sep 00 | Wales
Judge names 'slap case' school
07 Sep 00 | Wales
Headteacher to remain suspended
10 Aug 00 | Wales
'Slap' teacher granted appeal
01 Aug 00 | Wales
Teachers back suspended head
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