Dinner lady claims parents 'right to know' bully facts

Carol Hill Carol Hill claims her rights to freedom of expression were infringed

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An Essex dinner lady sacked after telling a girl's parents she was being bullied has told a tribunal the couple had a right to know.

Carol Hill, 61, of Great Tey, said the seven-year-old's parents were entitled to the facts and should have been told the "truth" by the head teacher.

Mrs Hill said her sacking from the £125-a-month post in September 2009 left her "very distressed".

Great Tey Primary School disputes her claim for unfair dismissal.

A tribunal panel has heard Mrs Hill was suspended in June 2009 after telling a couple that their daughter had been tied to a fence by other children and hit with a skipping rope.

She told a local newspaper of her suspension and was then dismissed by governors.

Head teacher Deborah Crabb told the panel that Mrs Hill was sacked for committing the "offence" of "going to the press".

'Final warning'

Mrs Hill's decision to give details of the incident to the child's parents was a breach of confidentiality which would have earned her a "final warning", said Mrs Crabb.

But by talking to a journalist Mrs Hill had bought the school into disrepute and had to be dismissed, she said.

Mrs Hill told the tribunal that there had not been a "proper, fair and reasonable" investigation.

She also argues that she was not given a correct notice period and is complaining that her rights to freedom of expression under European law were infringed.

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