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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 January, 2004, 12:37 GMT
1m suspension case 'too long'
School playground
The pupil's claim of "inappropriate touching" was not proved
The suspension of a teacher on full pay for nine years during a legal inquiry that cost a reported 1m was unacceptable, a councillor has claimed.

Dorothy Gunther has called for a shake up of the legal system following the removal of Anthony McNally from a Greater Manchester school in 1995.

Mr McNally, 54, reached an out-of-court settlement last week with Bury Council after the inquiry into unproven claims of sexual misconduct against him by a pupil at Woodhey School.

The council has defended its decision to bar Mr McNally, which is thought to have been the longest suspension of a teacher in UK history.

Mrs Gunther, Tory councillor for Ramsbottom, said she does not blame any particular party for the length of the case involving Mr McNally.

'Traumatic' process

"You always hear from people that they are waiting for the legal process to take its course, and this is always at huge expense.

"It is always traumatic for the people involved, so we really need to concentrate on getting these kinds of inquiries cleared up much more quickly."

Under the settlement it was a condition that Mr McNally, 54, would resign from the school after the case that with wages and legal fees cost up to 1m.

Mark Sanders, chief executive of Bury Council, said the case had been "a complex matter" and the council had acted "within the framework and the parameters of the law".

"The individual is innocent until proven guilty and this is respected in the legally binding compromised agreement that has been made," he said.

Mr McNally was not willing to comment on the case.




SEE ALSO:
300,000 bill for teacher's suspension
21 Nov 02  |  Education


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