|Top school head faces bully
All charges strenuously denied
THE head teacher of Westminsters largest school is facing
an investigation into allegations that she bullied teachers.
Janet Morrison has been head of North Westminster Community School
(NWCS) for two years and is now the subject of a Westminster Council
inquiry following allegations from a member of staff.
The staff member, who is off sick, has accused her of bullying and
the union, the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), has
launched legal action. Ms Morrison has strenuously denied the charges.
The inquiry follows a similar investigation last year which looked
into Ms Morrisons dealings with private education firm Nord
Anglia for whom she worked as a consultant.
She was hired by the company in 2002 and was running two schools,
NWCS and Jubilee High School in Surrey.
She resigned from Nord Anglia in July 2004 taking full control to
steer the school to its planned closure in 2006 to make way for
two new city academies.
Following her resignation Nord Anglia alleged that she had been
charging Jubilee High via her own company, as well as being paid
a salary for the job.
But an inquiry in 2004 cleared her of any wrong doing.
But if this new inquiry finds against her Ms Morrison could face
an industrial tribunal.
Ms Morrisons solicitor Stephen Ross said that the allegations
were false and that she was suing Nord Anglia for libel.
In a statement issued yesterday (Thursday) he said: Two members
of staff at NWCS have been off sick for some time and one has raised
allegations of bullying against Ms Morrison.
These allegations are denied by Ms Morrison and are currently
being dealt with by Westminster Council. As such it is not appropriate
for Ms Morrison to comment further at this stage.
The other allegations relating to Nord Anglia Education Plc
relate to events that took place last year. These were fully investigated
at the time by Westminster Council who concluded that there was
no case to answer.
Ms Morrison has launched a defamation claim against Nord Anglia
earlier this month in respect of the publication of unfounded allegations
And Ms Morrison has received the full support of Westminster Council
and the schools board of governors and she is continuing to
go to the school and run its affairs.
A statement said: There was an internal investigation carried
out last year concerning allegations in relation to the head teacher
at North Westminster Community School.
An independent audit commissioned by the then director of
education found no grounds of impropriety and no case to answer.
The council is currently investigation a further complaint,
this time from a professional union in relation to the management
NWCS is continuing to improve standards and performance as
reflected in a recent HMI inspection.
Paul Raynes, chairman of governors, said: Our students and
staff will be wondering what this has got to do with the improvements
we are seeing at North Westminster.
Now, I know for a fact that our students results have
got better under Janet. As for the facts behind these allegations,
one inquiry has found no case to answer.
He added: We have a second one under way. Everyone involved
who has any consideration for our students would wait and see what
came of that, frankly, before they started getting it off their
chest in the newspapers.
It is not the first time that the school has faced controversy this
year. The West End Extra revealed in June 24 that Tony Blairs
schools minister Lord Adonis had to intervene in June and
bring in emergency supply teachers.
Ten regular teachers left the school in July without replacements.
Westminster Councils education boss Phyl Crawford resigned
after the fiasco.