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Dinner Lady Sacked For Telling Parents About School Bullying Wins Compensation

14/08/2014 16:47 | Updated 22 May 2015
Dinner lady who told parents of school bullying wins justice

A school dinner lady who was unfairly sacked after telling a seven-year-old girl's parents that their daughter had been tied to a fence and hit with a skipping rope has won her two-year battle for compensation.

Carol Hill, 64, said on today's BBC Five Live: "I would definitely do it again. No vulnerable person should suffer because someone is afraid to speak out."

And she added: "I'm not just looking forward to getting my life back to what it was before all this started."

An earlier hearing was told how Carol was on playground duty when she saw that a girl had been tied to a fence by her wrist and then 'whipped' across the legs with a skipping rope by a group of boys.

The head teacher, Deborah Crabb, sent a letter to the girl's parents saying that she had been hurt in a 'minor accident' with a skipping rope. They only learned the full details of what had happened when Carol spoke to the girl's mother outside a Scout meeting.

The girl's parents were furious and have since withdrawn their children from the school. Carol was suspended and later dismissed over 'breach of confidentiality' for telling the pupil's parents about the incident in June 2009.

An employment tribunal at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, ruled in January 2011 that the school had not carried out a 'fair, proper and reasonable' investigation before dismissing her.

But the following month the same panel ruled that she would have been sacked in any case for going public with her story, even if the correct dismissal procedures had been followed. She was awarded just £351.82, including just over £300 in back pay and £49.99 in 'compensation'.

Carol said: "It has been a horrible ordeal but I feel a step closer to justice. I was never doing it for the money, I was doing it because I believe what I did was right." She now works as a cleaner around the village but said she missed her old job.

"I loved that job, I would definitely still be doing it if this had not happened," she said.

A further hearing must now be held to determine a new payout.

A statement from Great Tey Primary School said: "The employment appeal tribunal upheld Mrs Hill's appeal into her compensation payout following dismissal from Great Tey Primary School.

"It does not change the outcome of the overall case but there may need to be a further liabilities hearing at an employment tribunal to reassess the amount originally awarded."

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