Barnet Alliance is supporting a teacher at Friern Barnet school, Sue Caldwell, head of maths, who has been suspended while an investigation takes place into allegations that Sue encouraged students to take part in walk-outs from the school. This was last November, during the protests against rises in tuition fees and aboliton of the Education Maintenance Allowance.
Sue denies the charges; her union, the National Union of Teachers, is collecting signatures on a petition calling for Sue’s reinstatment. Download the petition here. Send completed copies and messages of support to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A group of Sue’s students have started a Facebook page to support her, the name of the page is ‘Reinstate Sue Caldwell’.
The text is:
Local NUT branch President, school rep and Head of Maths Sue Caldwell was suspended from Friern Barnet secondary school in the north London borough of Barnet on Monday 17 January.
She had been under investigation by the head teacher since 24 November following a single parental allegation that she had encouraged students to walk out to join EMA and tuition fees protests. Sue denies this. NUT and UNISON groups have now signed a letter to the head calling for Sue’s reinstatement, with the broad support of colleagues in other unions.
He had claimed that Sue’s suspension, despite its negative impact on her department and students’ learning, is necessary to complete his investigations! Yet he has had Sue’s work laptop since December. An NUT Regional Officer has supported Sue at two informal investigatory interviews so far.
This is the only school in the country that we know to be taking this attitude in the aftermath of student protests. We regard this suspension as an act of victimisation – not due process. Sue is well-known locally as an Anti-Academies and LGBT Rights activist, and a frequent speaker at NUT Annual Conference.
We call on Sue’s supporters everywhere to act now. Please use this petition in your workplace, union or organisational network. Also e-mail your messages of support. Spread the word!