My commiserations to Carol Hill, who had been school Dinner Lady for 8 years at Great Tey Primary School in Essex until June 2009.
In June of that year she found Chloe David, a pupil at the school, tied to a chain link fence with rope burns on her wrists and whip marks on her legs. It seems she and four boys had been playing "prisoners and guards".
Chloe was sent home with a letter informing her parents that she has been injured in a "skipping rope incident", no mention was made of her having been tied up or whipped by other pupils.
Later that evening, Mrs Hill bumped into Chloe's parents and was surprised that they had not been told the full story, she then told them what she saw.
June 25, 2009: Mr David demanded to see a copy of the school's official report on the incident, this alerted Deborah Crabb, the headmistress, to the fact that he was informed by Mrs Hill.
Factoid: Both of mr and Mrs David's children have been removed from the school.
July 2009 Mrs Crabb suspended Mrs Hill for breaching pupil confidentiality.
September 2009: Mrs Hill is sacked for gross misconduct by a disciplinary hearing chaired by school governors (she had by then spoken to a local paper).
November 2009: Mrs Hill appealed to a panel of three school governors and representatives Essex County Council, but her dismissal was upheld (on the grounds that she had spoken to a local paper).
Factoid: The parent of one of the boys involved was a governor of the school at this time.
January 6, 2011: The employment tribunal ruled that Mrs Hill was unfairly dismissed, because the school did not conduct a reasonable investigation into the charges against her and the disciplinary and appeal hearings were unfair.
February 2, 2011: The tribunal met again, they ruled that she would have been sacked in any case for going public with the story, and that she was therefore not entitled to compensation.
After discussions between lawyers for the two sides, Essex County Council has agreed to pay Mrs Hill a severance package of £351.82 (just over £300 in back pay and £49.99 in "compensation").
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