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High Court quashes decision to dismiss school principal

By: Hannah Godfrey BL

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High Court grants order of certiorari quashing decision taken by board of management to dismiss principal of a primary school, on the grounds that, whilst up to and including the disciplinary hearing the respondent had acted in a rational and fair manner: (a) there did not appear to have been any meeting at which the respondent’s members sat down and considered all the evidence that had been presented; (b) the respondent was capable of providing adequate reasons for its decision but had not done so; and (c) the respondent had failed to give due consideration to the findings and unanimous recommendation of the Disciplinary Appeals Panel that the applicant should be reinstated.

Application for judicial review - dismissal of applicant as teacher and school principal following internal disciplinary process - allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards two pupils - respondent rejected recommendation of Disciplinary Appeals Panel to reinstate applicant - Circular 60/2009 - procedures for suspension and dismissal of principals - whether it was appropriate for respondent to have initiated Stage 4 disciplinary process - whether it had been reasonable for applicant to be placed on administrative leave pending outcome of disciplinary process - whether independent report was deficient - whether there were deficiencies in the procedure at the disciplinary hearing - whether respondent had properly considered the evidence - whether respondent had provided adequate reasons for its decision - whether respondent had failed to give due consideration to the findings and recommendation of the Disciplinary Appeals Panel.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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