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BBC Wales's Owen Jenkins
"She's relishing the prospect of returning to school, but will have to work with staff who'd made the allegations against her"
 real 28k

Marjorie Evans
"I am obviously euphoric"
 real 56k

Saturday, 17 March, 2001, 10:43 GMT
Governors welcome teacher's return
Marjorie Evans
Marjorie Evans : "euphoric" after being vindicated
Wrongly-accused headteacher Marjorie Evans will return to her old job next week.

At a meeting of the full board of governors of the south Wales school on Friday night, it was agreed to endorse the decision of a disciplinary hearing which found her not guilty of misconduct against pupils.

And the governors said they looked forward to welcoming her back to St Mary's School in Caldicot, Monmouthshire.

It was the final hurdle for 56-year-old Mrs Evans after 18 months of proceedings which ended in a disciplinary panel clearing her of seven allegations of inappropriate bevaviour.

Chairman of the governors Rob Gibbs said it was regrettable that matters had taken so long to be concluded - but the delay should not be blamed on the school governors.

"It saddens us greatly that Marjorie Evans has lost 18 months of her teaching career - a career that is still unblemished and one that she has great pride in," he said after the meeting.

St Mary¿s' Primary School
Mrs Evans can return to St Mary's School in Caldicot
"It is, however, important to note that a large proportion of the timescale was due to the police investigation and court proceedings - all of which was out of the governors' hands."

Mrs Evans had begun to see light at the end of the tunnel in the early hours of Friday morning.

Following a three-day disciplinary hearing which finally ended at 0500GMT on Friday, the she was told that school governors had decided there was no "credible evidence" to support any accusations.

The decision brought to an end an 18-month suspension for Mrs Evans who was convicted by magistrates of hitting a 10-year-old pupil last July but cleared on appeal in September.

She had intended to return to work in December last year - but Monmouthshire Education Authority and her school governors threatened her with further suspension if she "set foot in the school".


It saddens us greatly that Marjorie Evans has lost 18 months of her teaching career - a career that is still unblemished and one that she has great pride in

Chairman of the school governors Rob Gibbs
They said fresh claims of mistreatment of pupils had been made.

At a press conference on Friday it emerged that those claims - none of which was substantiated - consisted of slapping two other children, kicking another boy and "inappropriately shouting and berating children".

Police decided there were no grounds for prosecution, but the school governors insisted on holding an internal disciplinary hearing.

The National Union of Teachers - which has backed Mrs Evans throughout - complained that no details of any accusations had been made available and last week it brought a High Court legal action.

The union accused Monmouthshire County Council and governors at the school, of not having used the proper disciplinary rules and procedures.

Mrs Justice Bracewell ruled in their favour and ordered the governors to draw up a new set of rules which were put in place ahead of the disciplinary hearing.


The whole period has been extraordinarily distressing. I've missed being at school, seeing my staff and seeing my children

Marjorie Evans
After the disciplinary hearing ended on Friday, Mrs Evans could not contain her relief.

"I'm euphoric. I'm lost for words," she said.

"I'm absolutely delighted that the 18 months of stress and pain that I've endured are now over.

"The whole period has been extraordinarily distressing. I've missed being at school, seeing my staff and seeing my children."

Legal experts say Mrs Evans has substantial grounds to sue for compensation.

NUT officials have said her immediate concern is getting back to work - but they have not ruled out court action.

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See also:

16 Mar 01 | Education
Inquiry into head's suspension ordeal
16 Mar 01 | Education
Head cleared of mistreating pupils
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