Teacher Deborah Ellis, Sacked For 'Saving' Pupil From Sex Pest, Gets Payout

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 22/03/2012 09:52 Updated: 22/03/2012 09:52

Deborah Ellis Teacher
Teacher Deborah Ellis Received Compensation After Being Unfairly Dismissed

A deputy headteacher who was sacked for "mistreating" a pupil after she rescued him from a sex pest has received compensation.

Deborah Ellis was dismissed from a primary school in Wrexham, North Wales last year, following a lengthy three-month investigation. At the time, the proceedings were described as a "grave injustice" to the 51-year-old, who was one of two teachers sacked.

In June 2010, Ellis, who was left temporarily in charge of Hafod-y-Wren Primary, became concerned for a pupil's safety after he refused to leave the playground and return to the school building.

Two weeks earlier a man had been spotted performing a sex act close to the school - the grounds of which are open to the public.

During the 2011 tribunal hearing, Ellis' representative Tudor Williams said his client was "concerned for the safety and wellbeing of the child, so she and another member of staff picked him up and carried him into the school".

According to Williams, Ellis and her colleague picked the pupil up under the armpits and carried him into the classroom. The trio's movements were caught on CCTV footage, which prompted the school's governing body accuse the two teachers of "gross misconduct by physical and emotional abuse of the pupil".

The lawyer added the boy's mother did not complain about his treatment, nor did the police believe any law had been broken.

At the time, the National Union of Teachers, who confirmed one of the teachers was a member, questioned the decision.

A spokesperson said the union believed the decision to dismiss the pair was "perverse".

On Wednesday it emerged Ellis, who was in the process of challenging the decision, had reached an agreement with her former employers.

An employment tribunal was informed a confidential settlement had been agreed which was "very acceptable" to Ellis.

A spokesperson for Wrexham council said: "The hearing was adjourned pending final agreement of a confidential settlement that was acceptable to both parties.

"Wrexham council intends to respect that confidential agreement."

Speaking outside the Abergele hearing, Ellis, who has since been working as an office cleaner, said it was a "massive weight" off her shoulders and was both "pleased and relieved".

"What happened has had a huge impact on my life and my family's life. It affected my health initially. I'm pleased it is all done and dusted."

Despite adding she "loved her job", Ellis said she did not want to go back into teaching in the near future.

The former teacher is yet to hear whether the General Teaching Council for Wales will take any action.

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