Teacher hits school with £65k claim over job loss

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A PRIMARY school teacher who lost her job while suffering from depression has made a £65,000 claim against her former employers.

Anna Bailey has entered four disability discrimination claims against Lowton Junior and Infants School - as well as a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

A tribunal heard how Ms Bailey, a literacy and numeracy teacher, had first suffered from depression in 2006 and 2007.

But, after recovering with the help of medication, the illness returned in 2010 and then again in 2011.

Ms Bailey, who also taught one-off lessons at Beech Hill Primary School, claimed that, from March 2011, she was excluded from management discussions at Lowton.

Many of her allegations centre around head teacher Michelle Silcock, deputy head Alison Davies and fellow teacher Jo Price.

She told the tribunal how she had felt undermined after Sats time tabling and decisions were agreed in her absence.

She also claimed she was anxious about being asked to tutor the Year 5 pupils instead of the Year 2 pupils because her targets were based on the performance of Year 2.

Ms Bailey added that she had only revealed the return of the depression to her bosses on May 12, 2011.

She said: “I told them that different issues in school had taken their toll on me and I had become ill.

“I told them I wasn’t sleeping, was crying all the time, was anxious about coming into school, was anxious at school and had suffered palpitations and chest pains.”

Ms Bailey’s friend and former colleague, Jo Makin, then told the tribunal how the claimant had once been so upset in school that she was unable to fathom what the matter was.

She said: “The first incident was in September 2011. Mrs Silcock came into the room when the claimant was upset, stood at the door, said a couple of things and then walked out again. She seemed a little abrupt.

“The second incident happened the following week. Ms Bailey was very upset and Mrs Silcock came in and just said to her ‘my office now’.”

Ms Makin also told how Ms Davies had claimed that her loyalty to Ms Bailey was “misguided” because the claimant had once tried to get her into trouble.

And she revealed how she had lied to her colleagues in order to visit Ms Bailey while she was off sick.

Mrs Silcock, she said, had warned her not to have any contact with the claimant.

Ms Makin added: “I didn’t feel it was seen as the right thing to do so I kept it quiet.

“But I think someone saw me walking down her road on my first visit when I’d said I was going to the Post Office.”

Ms Bailey is set to continue giving evidence today.

The tribunal is expected to last four days.