Essex dinner lady Carol Hill wins £350 in compensation

Carol Hill Carol Hill was suspended in June 2009 and sacked three months later

Related Stories

An Essex dinner lady, who was sacked after telling parents their daughter had been bullied, has won £350 in compensation.

Carol Hill, 61, was suspended from Great Tey Primary School after telling the seven-year-old girl's parents their daughter had been tied to a fence.

She was later sacked for speaking to the media in what the tribunal decided was "gross misconduct".

It ruled her sacking was procedurally unfair, however, and awarded her £350.

Essex County Council said the figure was made up of "back pay" and compensation for "wrongful dismissal".

Mrs Hill was sacked from her £125-a-month role in September 2009.

School head Deborah Crabb told the tribunal about the incident and said four boys involved had explained they were playing a game called "prisoners and guards". She said the incident was not bullying but an "inappropriate game" which went too far.

She told the panel Mrs Hill was sacked for committing the "offence" of "going to the press".

Reinstatement claim abandoned

Start Quote

It became clear it would not be tenable for her to return to school”

End Quote Claire Darwin Carol Hill's lawyer

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 brought the school into disrepute and she had to be dismissed, the head teacher said.

Mrs Hill had argued she was sacked because the school governors were "embarrassed by the public outcry".

She said she was not given a correct notice period and her rights to freedom of expression under European law were infringed.

The tribunal members ruled in January that Mrs Hill's actions "amounted to gross misconduct" and upheld the school's "decision to summarily dismiss".

But they said the way the school had gone about dismissing Mrs Hill had been "procedurally flawed".

Mrs Hill had said she wanted her job back but her lawyer, Claire Darwin, told the panel on Wednesday she had abandoned a claim for reinstatement.

Mrs Hill said: "I am very relieved that the case is over.

"It has taken a heavy toll on my health.

"I have always had the welfare of the children at heart," she added.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Essex



Min. Night 6 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage

  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world

  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop

  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Woman standingMysterious miracle

    It's extremely unusual and shouldn't give false hope, but what makes the body beat cancer on its own?


  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach - why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.