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Sacking teacher for wearing trainers is no example

PUBLISHED: 09:54 05 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:55 05 October 2010

Dear Editor, I AM deeply disturbed by the sacking of a well-liked and well-respected PE and pupil support teacher Adrian Swain at St Paul’s Way school in Bow Common for wearing trainers. The new dress code is supposed to be about teachers setting an example’ to pupils, but is not much of an example to impose something without negotiation and agreement

Dear Editor,

I AM disturbed by the sacking of well-liked and well-respected PE and pupil support teacher Adrian Swain at St Paul’s Way Community school (in Bow Common). The authorities hat he refused a “reasonable” instruction (about wearing trainers).

But I do not see what was “reasonable” about imposing an arbitrary dress code without the agreement of the trade union which represents Adrian and the vast majority of teachers in the East End.

The new dress code is supposed to be about teachers setting an example’ to pupils. But it is not much of an example to impose something without negotiation and agreement.

There needs to be a sense of proportion here. St Paul’s Way has been a troubled school for some time. It is not a school which has found it easy to attract a permanent Headteacher, or to maintain the morale and confidence of its staff, pupils and parents.

Teachers prepared to commit to the school should, therefore, be treated like gold-dust and not sacked over the issue of a pair of trainers, especially as Mr Swain is a PE teacher!

I hope there is a thorough review of this unfortunate case and the school authorities find a way to pursue the common sense position and make sure Mr Swain returns to doing what he is professionally trained to do and what he wants to do—that is, serve the children at St Paul’s.

Cllr Abjol Miah

Respect Group leader

Town Hall

Mulberry Place, Blackwall


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