Unfairly dismissed headteacher awarded £90,000

Christine Hollidge

Christine Hollidge - Credit: Archant

All Saints Primary School Governors ordered to pay maximum compensation

A long-serving headteacher who was unfairly dismissed from her job at All Saints Primary School, after clashing with governors, has been awarded the maximum compensation by a tribunal.

Although the figure has not been officially revealed it is understood that Christine Hollidge will receive almost £90,000.

A statement issued yesterday (Tuesday) by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said the payout brought to an end a bitter three-year dispute which had seen Mrs Hollidge, 60, first suspended and then unfairly dismissed from her post.

It said: “Following the judgement at the conclusion of a three-day contested employment tribunal hearing in September 2014, it is with great pleasure that Mrs Hollidge is now in a position to announce that she has received from her previous employer, the Governing Body of All Saints C of E Primary School, the maximum compensation available from an employment tribunal due to her for unfair dismissal in April 2013.

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“The NAHT was surprised by early press releases asserting that the tribunal had found the dismissal to be unfair on ‘procedural’ grounds only. The tribunal’s judgment is clear – this was a substantive unfair dismissal. The maximum compensation payment is consistent with that finding.

“For the avoidance of doubt, there was no disciplinary or capability reason why Mrs Hollidge could not have returned to her position as headteacher of All Saints School.

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“The tribunal judgment and maximum compensation mean that Mrs Hollidge’s reputation has been restored and goes some way to reflect 25 years of loyal service to All Saints School.”

Mrs Hollidge said: “It is a tremendous relief to my family and me that the trauma of the past three years is now over and I am now free to speak about my experience.

“I wish to thank all those who never doubted me – the NAHT, friends, parents and members of the community.

“My wish has always been for reconciliation and I am delighted that my name and good reputation have been restored by the judgement.”

A Devon County Council spokesman said: “We do not intend to make any further comment on such an historic case as the current outstanding headteacher and his staff are ensuring the children enjoy excellent teaching and learning.”

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