Chepstow teacher to appeal against sacking

AN ENGLISH teacher sacked from a Chepstow secondary school last month is mounting an appeal against the decision.

Former head of English at Chepstow School, Kathy Currie, who began teaching there in 1986, is set to have her appeal heard in the new year by a panel of independent teachers or governors from other Monmouthshire schools.

We contacted the Chepstow School headteacher, Claire Price, for a comment as to why Mrs Currie was dismissed but did not receive a response.

Instead a spokesman for Monmouthshire council said he could not reveal why the teacher was sacked and could not comment on an online campaign, set up by former Chepstow school teacher Mike Rees, who retired in 2009 when he was assistant head, backing Mrs Currie's appeal.

Mr Rees has posted a series of articles on a blog, Reinstate Kathy Currie.

He claims that since January 2012, ten experienced teachers have been made redundant, taken voluntary redundancy or, as in Mrs Currie's case, sacked from Chepstow School.

"Concerns about the capability of Kathy Currie seemed to suddenly surface in spring 2012," he said.

Mr Rees wrote; "I can confirm that for the 12 years prior to December 2009, when I was a member of the school's management teams, no member of these teams has ever expressed any doubts regarding Kathy's ability."

Comments posted on Mr Rees' blog include a message from Glenda Lewin which said. "I have taught in her department, 1 had my two boys and a niece taught by her, one has a degree from Cambridge, another has a doctorate from Bristol.

"Kathy is a dedicated, successful teacher."

David McAdam, a retired lecturer in employment law wrote: "Both my daughters attended Chepstow Comprehensive and achieved top grades in English.

"We considered the English department to be the best staffed and most inspiring department in the school and Mrs Currie to be one of the best of a very strong team."

Comments (16)

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11:52am Sun 29 Dec 13

welshmen says...

It's called Liberalising, get rid of the qualified teachers, replace with the non qualified, saves money and the Liberals get there pupils brainwashed to their ideology for a future Liberal Government...demise of the British Culture....
It's called Liberalising, get rid of the qualified teachers, replace with the non qualified, saves money and the Liberals get there pupils brainwashed to their ideology for a future Liberal Government...demise of the British Culture.... welshmen

12:11pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

Hmmm....We have got a partly Liberal government now as they formed a coalition with the Tories. I actually think that the Liberals are in a much weaker position now as Nick Clegg's co-operation with David Cameron has actually split the party. I'd guess that the next government will be a Labour one - although the majority will be pretty narrow. Unfortunately, education policy has always had little to do with the actual kids and more to do with the continuation of a long-running game of political football.
Hmmm....We have got a partly Liberal government now as they formed a coalition with the Tories. I actually think that the Liberals are in a much weaker position now as Nick Clegg's co-operation with David Cameron has actually split the party. I'd guess that the next government will be a Labour one - although the majority will be pretty narrow. Unfortunately, education policy has always had little to do with the actual kids and more to do with the continuation of a long-running game of political football. Katie Re-Registered

2:51pm Sun 29 Dec 13

Mr Holder says...

I wonder if the head teacher is a pupil of common purpose?
I wonder if the head teacher is a pupil of common purpose? Mr Holder

7:23pm Sun 29 Dec 13

mdwh88 says...

As a former pupil of Mrs Currie, I can only assume this decision has been based on money or ageism. Kathy deserves the support of the community in which she has enriched the education of many young people for nearly 3 decades!
As a former pupil of Mrs Currie, I can only assume this decision has been based on money or ageism. Kathy deserves the support of the community in which she has enriched the education of many young people for nearly 3 decades! mdwh88

8:13pm Sun 29 Dec 13

seg1977 says...

Mrs Currie taught me for GCSE and A-Level English and I got top grades in both. She is fantastic teacher who has inspired Chepstow School pupils for decades. It's disgraceful that she should be treated this way.
Mrs Currie taught me for GCSE and A-Level English and I got top grades in both. She is fantastic teacher who has inspired Chepstow School pupils for decades. It's disgraceful that she should be treated this way. seg1977

8:36pm Sun 29 Dec 13

seg1977 says...

Three points to note:

1. No concerns had ever been raised about Mrs Currie's ability from 1986 (when she started at Chepstow) until spring 2012.

2. Since January 2012, 10 Chepstow teachers aged 50+ have been made redundant, taken voluntary redundancy or been sacked. They had over 300 years' experience between them.

3. The current Headteacher, Claire Price, started at Chepstow School in January 2012.
Three points to note: 1. No concerns had ever been raised about Mrs Currie's ability from 1986 (when she started at Chepstow) until spring 2012. 2. Since January 2012, 10 Chepstow teachers aged 50+ have been made redundant, taken voluntary redundancy or been sacked. They had over 300 years' experience between them. 3. The current Headteacher, Claire Price, started at Chepstow School in January 2012. seg1977

9:01pm Sun 29 Dec 13

gwent1311 says...

Sorry I disagree with all the above. Both of my children had Mrs Currie and she is the worst teacher they had. My son's English grades only improved when he had a new teacher. When we had a query and contacted Mrs Currie regarding exams she didn't know what was going on in her department. Both of my children found her lessons uninspiring.
Sorry I disagree with all the above. Both of my children had Mrs Currie and she is the worst teacher they had. My son's English grades only improved when he had a new teacher. When we had a query and contacted Mrs Currie regarding exams she didn't know what was going on in her department. Both of my children found her lessons uninspiring. gwent1311

9:09pm Sun 29 Dec 13

seg1977 says...

No-one of any profession performs at the top of their game all of the time. If the school felt she wasn't performing satisfactorily, she should have been given the appropriate support. A teacher with her track record doesn't become so ineffective that the only option is dismissal.
No-one of any profession performs at the top of their game all of the time. If the school felt she wasn't performing satisfactorily, she should have been given the appropriate support. A teacher with her track record doesn't become so ineffective that the only option is dismissal. seg1977

9:10pm Sun 29 Dec 13

gwent1311 says...

Claire Price is turning round a school that was recorded as only 'adequate' in a Jan 2012 inspection. If this means that teachers that rest on their laurels to the disadvantage of students have to go then so be it.
Claire Price is turning round a school that was recorded as only 'adequate' in a Jan 2012 inspection. If this means that teachers that rest on their laurels to the disadvantage of students have to go then so be it. gwent1311

9:29pm Sun 29 Dec 13

seg1977 says...

If teachers over 50 rest on their laurels, so do those under. Poor teaching should always be addressed. Teachers who have taught well for decades should not be so readily dispensible.
If teachers over 50 rest on their laurels, so do those under. Poor teaching should always be addressed. Teachers who have taught well for decades should not be so readily dispensible. seg1977

9:39pm Sun 29 Dec 13

gaz1964 says...

'Kathy’s ability as a teacher and curriculum leader began to be questioned by the school’s management a year ago.. In October (this year) this resulted in a recommendation to the governors of the school that Kathy should be dismissed.' This was found on the support blog for Kathy from Mike Rees. This shows she was aware of the question in her teaching, whether or not support was given I don't know, time was given and it does show dismissal was not the first and only option.
'Kathy’s ability as a teacher and curriculum leader began to be questioned by the school’s management a year ago.. In October (this year) this resulted in a recommendation to the governors of the school that Kathy should be dismissed.' This was found on the support blog for Kathy from Mike Rees. This shows she was aware of the question in her teaching, whether or not support was given I don't know, time was given and it does show dismissal was not the first and only option. gaz1964

9:44pm Sun 29 Dec 13

gwent1311 says...

Never mentioned over 50s specifically but just because somebody has a long service doesn't mean they are any better at teaching.
Never mentioned over 50s specifically but just because somebody has a long service doesn't mean they are any better at teaching. gwent1311

1:32pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Dai Rear says...

I cannot see that you can employ someone for a quarter of a century without twigging it if they're not up to the mark. The public sector is pretty tacky, of course, but this seems a bit extreme.
I cannot see that you can employ someone for a quarter of a century without twigging it if they're not up to the mark. The public sector is pretty tacky, of course, but this seems a bit extreme. Dai Rear

4:24pm Mon 30 Dec 13

Limestonecowboy says...

Don't know why such a crass remark about the public sector just check the academy at Wyedean when in local authority control had good rating since then under Academy is now is now in special measures due to its standard of English. Wyedean was attended by JK Rowling then in the 'public sector'
Don't know why such a crass remark about the public sector just check the academy at Wyedean when in local authority control had good rating since then under Academy is now is now in special measures due to its standard of English. Wyedean was attended by JK Rowling then in the 'public sector' Limestonecowboy

7:33pm Mon 30 Dec 13

seg1977 says...

gaz1964 wrote:
'Kathy’s ability as a teacher and curriculum leader began to be questioned by the school’s management a year ago.. In October (this year) this resulted in a recommendation to the governors of the school that Kathy should be dismissed.' This was found on the support blog for Kathy from Mike Rees. This shows she was aware of the question in her teaching, whether or not support was given I don't know, time was given and it does show dismissal was not the first and only option.
Yes, this is a fair point. And there are certainly gaps in the information that is available, as is only right at this point.

I think the thing that baffles me is that the January 2012 Estyn report made many key recommendations (regarding under-performance in English, maths and science); recommendations which were addressed in the period in question to such an extent that the October 2013 follow-up report concluded that Chepstow no longer needed to be monitored so closely.

If, therefore, Mrs Currie was given notice to improve following the January 2012 report, it seems that she (or at least, her department) did just that, and yet, in the month of the follow-up report, she was sacked. That doesn't seem right, to me at least.
[quote][p][bold]gaz1964[/bold] wrote: 'Kathy’s ability as a teacher and curriculum leader began to be questioned by the school’s management a year ago.. In October (this year) this resulted in a recommendation to the governors of the school that Kathy should be dismissed.' This was found on the support blog for Kathy from Mike Rees. This shows she was aware of the question in her teaching, whether or not support was given I don't know, time was given and it does show dismissal was not the first and only option.[/p][/quote]Yes, this is a fair point. And there are certainly gaps in the information that is available, as is only right at this point. I think the thing that baffles me is that the January 2012 Estyn report made many key recommendations (regarding under-performance in English, maths and science); recommendations which were addressed in the period in question to such an extent that the October 2013 follow-up report concluded that Chepstow no longer needed to be monitored so closely. If, therefore, Mrs Currie was given notice to improve following the January 2012 report, it seems that she (or at least, her department) did just that, and yet, in the month of the follow-up report, she was sacked. That doesn't seem right, to me at least. seg1977

9:30am Tue 31 Dec 13

Dai Rear says...

Limestonecowboy wrote:
Don't know why such a crass remark about the public sector just check the academy at Wyedean when in local authority control had good rating since then under Academy is now is now in special measures due to its standard of English. Wyedean was attended by JK Rowling then in the 'public sector'
So, the staff was changed? Or just the same bodies, new name , same, same old public sector "ethos"?
But it does tend to be the public sector that employs someone for umpty ump years before finding they've got a lemon, giving them an OBE and booting them out with an introduction to a man who'll give them a management post in the NHS doesn't it? As I have observed elsewhere, 9 public sector "honours" in Gwent today and one entrepreneur. We are not going to compete with the brightest and best of what Asia produces if this is the best we can do, are we?
[quote][p][bold]Limestonecowboy[/bold] wrote: Don't know why such a crass remark about the public sector just check the academy at Wyedean when in local authority control had good rating since then under Academy is now is now in special measures due to its standard of English. Wyedean was attended by JK Rowling then in the 'public sector'[/p][/quote]So, the staff was changed? Or just the same bodies, new name , same, same old public sector "ethos"? But it does tend to be the public sector that employs someone for umpty ump years before finding they've got a lemon, giving them an OBE and booting them out with an introduction to a man who'll give them a management post in the NHS doesn't it? As I have observed elsewhere, 9 public sector "honours" in Gwent today and one entrepreneur. We are not going to compete with the brightest and best of what Asia produces if this is the best we can do, are we? Dai Rear

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