School sacks suspended teacher after investigation and petition

Tom Mitchell, who has been sacked from Taverham High School 

Tom Mitchell, who has been sacked from Taverham High School - Credit: Contributed

A city teacher has been sacked from his job at a village school.

Tom Mitchell, who used to work at Taverham High School, was initially suspended in May 2021 after teaching at the school for nine years. 

He was a health and safety representative during the pandemic. 

Parent-led advocacy group SafeEdForAll confirmed he was sacked on Tuesday, May 10. 

A SafeEdForAll statement circulated to pupils and parents - which has been seen by the Evening News - said Mr Mitchell found out after a hearing was held without him present due to illness. 

Taverham High School. Photo: Steve Adams

Taverham High School. Photo: Steve Adams

The statement adds: "We maintain - as we have done from the start nearly one year ago and so does Mr Mitchell - that he was reporting health and safety concerns correctly following the school's own policy that he was a health and safety representative with a legal duty to." 

It goes on to say Mr Mitchell had been accused of "harassing and intimidating" colleagues during the investigation process.

SafeEdForAll disputes this in its statement claiming the teacher had sent three emails over a period of five days in late December and early January 2021 providing "useful information about ventilation" and "issues in the school concerning union business". 

A petition was launched calling for Mr Mitchell's reinstatement which was signed by around 1,000 people.

Petition to reinstate Taverham High teacher

The petition which was set up calling for Mr Mitchell to be reinstated during the investigation - Credit: actionnetwork.org

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When asked to comment on the decision to relieve him of his duties, Mr Mitchell said he could not comment due to legal processes that might materialise in the future. 

Taverham High School did not responded when contacted for comment. 

A school spokeswoman previously said they would not be able to comment on a confidential matter but that staff had "worked tirelessly over the course of the pandemic" to ensure the community was safe.

They said the school had followed all Public Health guidance, and had received a visit from both the Health and Safety Executive and the county council which approved their risk assessment and confirmed they were compliant with all requirements.