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Richard Jones-Nerzic

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Posts posted by Richard Jones-Nerzic


  1. My own case was heard (for the last time?) a couple of weeks ago. I await the result in mid January, exactly three years after all this started.

    Finally, after three years...

    201001221315_w350.jpg

    La Depeche Newspaper, Toulouse

    22 January 2010

    International School - The martyrdom of a teacher

    A teacher has won his case for unfair dismissal three years after being dismissed from the INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF TOULOUSE.

    On the 15/1/2010, the appeal court of Toulouse condemned Airbus Mobility for having unfairly dismissed M JONES NERZIC, a history teacher in December 2006.

    The decision heartened all those who have denounced for many years the mismanagement of the school.

    Georges Labouysse, a former Classic’s lecturer, tells how difficult it was to set up staff representative elections. ‘The headmistress of the time refused to comply with French law, theworks inspector even had to intervene. This lady, similar in style to Margaret Thatcher, never agreed to meet us and always sent her deputy head. The union CFDT managed in the end to get representation in this school, later it became known as the SRP SUNDEP (a private school teacher union). The headmistress lost her job and was replaced by Leslie Albiston.

    40 teachers leave the school in 10 years.

    M Albiston carried on, according to the union, getting rid of teachers: there is even on Internet a photo of staff on which more than half of the teachers’ faces are crossed out. They were all dismissed for different reasons.

    Veronique LHOTE, a lawyer in the SABATTE practice, dealt with three of these teachers. First, Mrs Boyce, the headmaster‘s Personal Assistant, went to court after being sacked on ‘economic grounds’ but she won her case for moral harassment.

    Then Mrs Carlile whose ‘mistake’ was to accidently a joke email to a Y9 class. She realised straight away that she sent the email to the wrong person and corrected her blunder. She also went to inform the headmaster. The very same day, she was suspended and later dismissed. ‘

    Finally, Mr Jones Nerzic whose only crime was to, at Mrs Carlile’s request, circulated her dismissal letter. The management accused him of having stolen the letter. The charismatic teacher who had initiated a Comenius 2.1 European programme called e-Help, a project that aims at training teachers to develop their ICT skills, was dismissed on the 23rd of December 2006.

    4 court cases lost by the IST

    So is there a blacklist of people that M Albiston has tried to eliminate one by one people who are on it?

    Were the union members, only one out of 6 is left within the IST, specifically targeted?

    In any case, since 2000, 40 teachers have left the school, voluntarily or not. The three teachers who were defended by Veronique L’hote won their court cases, as did the deputy head.

    More relieved than happy, the teachers hope that the International school of Toulouse will comply by French Law. Mr Jones Nerzic now works in Brussels. The 40 000 Euros he won will not made up for his loss. We contacted the head teacher, M Leslie Albiston, several times yesterday but he did not want to comment on the case.

    Condemned for dismissal

    Dismissed, M Jones Nerzic has not yet recovered. His wife, Florence, neither. ‘We were both teachers at the IST, we had just bought a house near Toulouse, we had to move almost overnight. It was a real trauma for our 5 years old son. It was also difficult to find another job.” She describes.

    A teacher worshipped by his students, admired by the parents and respected by his colleagues. His only mistake was to join a union and to defend his colleagues. ‘The story of the stolen letter was just an excuse to get rid of me. I had about 20 interviews before I got another job. We moved to Slovakia for two years and now I am in Brussels at the European School’.

    The International School of Toulouse

    It was created in 1999. It is a private school with excellent facilities. There are 310 students from 4 to 18. The board is set up by Airbus who finances the school through its branch Airbus Mobility. The lessons are in English. Most students are from families who work for Airbus or its subsidiaries.


  2. The International School of Toulouse declined to comment on the case. The school has the right to appeal against the decision.

    The school did appeal and, I am pleased to report, lost again. This time the judge made them pay-out even more than the first time.

    In addition, Cheryl Boyce whose process for unfair dismissal started this whole affair back in 2003, has with the support of the SUNDEP union finally won her appeal.

    I calculate that with pay-offs and three lost court cases, Albiston has cost the IST well over 500,000 Euros since 2002. But I bet there is no-one in Airbus who actually knows this.

    My own case was heard (for the last time?) a couple of weeks ago. I await the result in mid January, exactly three years after all this started.


  3. We have now received the final evaluation from Brussels. The report is very positive about our results (and our products), the evaluation and the dissemination (all Grade 5 out of 5 - this refers to "Very Good - Addresses the criterion with all aspects of high quality").

    We have also received a positive response on the coherence between the work plan and the activities, partnership and project management (all Grade 4 out of 5 - this refers to "Good - Addresses the criterion with some aspects of high quality")

    Financial Management was accepted (Grade 3 out of 5 - this refers to "Acceptable - Addresses the criterion satisfactorily"). The criticism is easy to spot "The financial management of the first French coordinator [The International School of Toulouse] seem to have included some unclear information". Fortunately, it was not enough prevent the project from being approved.

    The e-Help project is at www.e-help.eu

    Congratulations to all project members and thanks to everyone who participated over the 3+1 years of the project. <_<

    What this space for news about e-help 2.0


  4. I was inspired by Peter's presentation to have a go myself.

    I had the idea of producing digital stories of a school trip.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=X_tfjHWprhg

    The students pooled their hundreds of still images of the day and then produced their own digital account. The point of the activity was to demonstrate how interpretations of the same event could differ significantly even when produced by similar types of eyewitness.


  5. Since then I’ve been re-evaluating my own work using ICT. I’ve moved classrooms, and now teach in a room with 19 PC terminals, which work using Ultra-Thin Client technology, meaning that a classroom can be kitted out with computers that work very well for text and internet work, but not so well for media manipulation, for relatively little money.

    In addition, much of the internet that offers web-2.0 functionality has been blocked by the filters used by the LEA – which means that many exciting new online opportunities cannot be taken in the short term by me, or by teachers that I help to train.

    Two observations that struck a note with me.

    When I joined the school in Bratislava 15 months ago every computer in the school was a thin client. They look great and are cheap, therefore everyone in marketing and management are delighted with them. But it effectively meant that the students were on the same diet of MS Office every lesson.

    In my recent Bratislava History Project, neither of the schools in the UK could fully participate because this forum and the student education forum were blocked by the local LEA. Even the intervention of the head teacher and the promise of a meeting with the Queen would not budge the LEA. Madness.


  6. This is the sort of email that makes the hours spend on the resource production worthwhile. I have always been interested in the Yalding project but have never had a chance to run it. And now I don't teach the subject anymore.

    Reading my comments above about RSS feeds etc. I was reminded of what I had envisaged. I thought it would be a wonderful project for a group of older students to coordinate. Without ever being in the classroom or even knowing the students involved, IB students could drip-feed information about the characters to the partcipants. I thought about there being a blog of village news, filmed reports (of course) and some sort of awards ceremony at the end of the year. I am always doing empathy and rolepay in bits, the idea of doing something this ambitious really appeals.


  7. Although it was over 3 years ago, I still vividly remember Janos' s presentation at Toulouse. Partly it was the inspired idea of using 'Inspirations' mindmapping software instead of (like nearly everyone else on the planet) PowerPoint, but also, the creativity and imagination in the way the software was used, using it to make the audience think, rather than just to transmit/bombard them with information. It was great to meet up with him again at the Bratislava seminar, and as at Toulouse, he had lots of good ideas about how to use ICT to improve teaching and learning in history.

    Yes, I agree and once again in Bratislava, Janos was full of good ideas and recommendations. I have been uploading the original Toulouse presentations and as a result had cause to watch Janos's presenentation again. One of the best we had I think.

    http://www.vimeo.com/1982805


  8. Interesting Mike.

    I've been using forums with students for five years now and remain as convinced as ever about their utility and flexibility. For the recent Bratislava History Project, I considered using a Wiki for the students to contribute thier content and for others to edit. I decided against it simply because the forum needed no technical expertise at all, and the students were already familiar with the format. (Teachers however...) In the end they were able to work collaboratively in a very effective way, such as this thread shows.

    But of all the things I have done, it is my supervision of student Extended Essays that I have found most well suited (in terms of ICT value added) to the medium.

    http://studenteducationforum.ipbhost.com/i...hp?showforum=50

    Both teacher and student write when they have something to say (just-in-time learning and teaching), it creates a virtual paper trail of support with exact times and dates, it creates a complete archive of a variety of sudent work (process not just product), it is hypertextual so allows direct linked reading to be included and it can unblock student impasse in seconds in the middle of a two month summer holiday.


  9. I think you might have broken the golden rule and spoke to her without waiting for a question.

    The "Power of Good" is probably the most emotional documentary I have ever seen. The most moving part is when Vera Gissing's foster mother meets her on the railway station and says: "You will be loved."

    I agree, I don't know anyone who has watched without struggling to keep back the tears. I'll pass on your comments to Matej, I am sure he will be pleased to hear it.

    By the way, I did wait to be spoken to but Vera Gissing interrupted me to give a copy of her book to the Queen. I edited that bit out of the film.


  10. Thanks for that Mike.

    The students had a fantastic three days. The only down side was the BBC throwing the students out of the room they had prepared for the Winton interview. The scene on the BBC news item with Winton was actually lit with our rig, because the BBC crew didn't have one. And they almost didn't get Winton. They were about to do an interview with Alf Dubs one of the Winton 'children' thinking he was Winton, until one of the students pointed out their mistake.

    Anyway, we got about 6 hours of tape with all of the children and some of the veterans. One of the students sneaked in a 10 minute slot with Winton after the Queen left.

    The website is coming on. I added a video of the kids meeting the Queen today.

    http://www.internationalschoolhistory.net/...royal_visit.htm

    Will be adding some of the photos over the coming days. At the moment, I am working flat out with the film students trying to put together a short documentary for the annual confernec of the company that runs the school. We also have two of the veterans coming in next week to be interviewed.


  11. Some questions have come in from the students at: http://studenteducationforum.ipbhost.com/i...p?showtopic=635

    Whether it is alright to ask really personal questions, maybe about their parents?

    Also what are there any questions we shouldn't definetely ask or do or say?

    Do we actually contribute to the discussion or just ask questions without commentaries?

    How do we conclude after the last question?

    Thinking about questions from the period of WW2, what can we expect elderly people to remember from their childhood?

    And when does a question become too personal? Do you think it would be too uncomfortable to ask about Winton children's parents? As in whether they have ever found out anything about them or for how long did they have contact with them...?

    To what extent can we express sympathy towards interviewees and to what extent should we try to keep it 'professional'?

    1. is it wise, appropriate or useful to ask questions which have already been asked, let's say in the film 'the power of good' or in any other well-known interview. Won't that just feel repetitive to them?

    2.it will probably be inevitable to ask a personal question, as the whole topic is pretty personal and probably hurtful.. but is there anything you think could improve the way we ask these personal questions? language? etc.


  12. One of the objections that the Church made to the printing press was that it would destroy memory. Of course, the Church was primarily concerned with losing control of the communication process, but they clearly had a point. The printed book did reduce the need to hold all information in the head (as long as you could read – another thing the Church was against the peasants from doing).

    And of course the same was argued by the ancients in their opposition to written communication. And of course it is true. This is one of those interesting indirect consequences of technological development that we can only just begin to appreciate. Teleprompts that mean that potential presidents and singers alike no longer need to learn their lines, mobile phones that memorize numbers and addresses, and pocket organisers that do everything else, what happens when we don't have to remember any more? Should we be worried about this?


  13. logo.png

    £20,000 payout for teacher sacked after sending a rude email to Year 9

    News | Published in The TES on 10 October, 2008 | By: Irena Barker

    A teacher who was unjustly sacked from an international school for accidentally forwarding a rude email to Year 9 pupils has won around £20,000 in compensation.

    A French employment tribunal found that Tanya Carlile’s dismissal from the International School of Toulouse was “disproportionate” to what she had done, and ordered the school’s sponsors, Airbus Mobility, to make the pay- out.

    In an interview with The TES, Mrs Carlile said her sacking and subsequent legal ordeal had made her look at “how precarious life is, especially with the internet”.

    She also expressed concerns for other British teachers abroad who might be vulnerable to unfair dismissal because they did not know local employment law, belong to a union or speak the language.

    The tribunal ruled that although the email had been of “dubious humour”, the pictures it contained were not pornographic and it was unlikely that 13 or 14-years-old pupils would be shocked by them.

    The email, titled “Why Women don’t Take Men on Vacation”, featured six photos, including one of a fully clothed man pretending to be sodomised by a gorilla statue. Others used perspective to make holidaying males appear to have enormous manhoods. One picture showed a man in jeans and a T-shirt sitting astride a huge phallic cactus.

    Mrs Carlile had immediately gone to the pupils who received the email and told them to delete it.

    Only three pupils actually saw the images and there were no complaints from parents, some of whom called for her to be reinstated after her dismissal.

    She also informed the IT technicians and the headteacher, and confessed her mistake.

    Less than a week after the incident, she was escorted off the premises of the anglophone private school, which caters largely for the children of workers at the nearby Airbus A380 factory and charges fees of EUR16,000 a year for Year 12 and 13 pupils.

    In its dismissal letter to Mrs Carlile in October 2006, the school alleged that she had attempted to conceal the true content of the email from management, something she successfully contested at the hearing.

    Richard Jones-Nerzic, a history teacher and union rep at the school, was also dismissed after informing other staff of the reason for Mrs Carlile’s sacking. He will hear the outcome of his own claim for unfair dismissal next week.

    Mrs Carlile, a special needs teacher, said: “The victory is knowing that I had done nothing wrong and that I had been as honest as I could be. The money means nothing as I have not been able to work for two years. No one in France would employ me because there has been this hanging over my head. I’m even renting out my house to pay my daughter’s university fees.

    “I really enjoyed working at the school. The children were good, with small classes, and I enjoyed the international atmosphere. I would have liked to have stayed on.”

    Mr Jones-Nerzic, who now works in Bratislava, Slovakia, said he believed the affair to be a case of “union bashing” by the International School of Toulouse. “Teachers at international schools can be particularly vulnerable in these kind of situations,” he added.

    The International School of Toulouse declined to comment on the case. The school has the right to appeal against the decision.


  14. Thanks for your comments so far.

    One of the people the students will be interviewing is Vera Gissing, a 'Winton child' and author of Pearls of Childhood which is based on the diaries she kept during the war years. She is also wonderful on camera. She is memorable in the Matej Minac film but also had a significant impact on the students who have seen her in the UK Teachers TV programme The Kindertransport - Goodbye Home.

    http://www.teachers.tv/video/17842

    I also read that

    According to a 2001 New York Times article, Winton's parents were born Jewish, but he was baptized in the Church of England and used British church groups to find homes for nearly 650 children from Czechoslovakia - 25 to 30 of the children went to Sweden by air.
    Maybe we could use our e-Help Swedish contacts to try to track these people down? That could make an interesting project in its own right.

  15. Thanks John

    The students are ready to begin their research now. I have created a thread for them to pose general questions about doing oral history.

    http://studenteducationforum.ipbhost.com/i...p?showtopic=635

    Can you create a thread somewhere on the forum that is likely to be noticed by people likely to respond to their questions? Is there any chance that we could send out an email to all members asking for their contributions?


  16. After nearly two years since Tanya was dismissed from the IST, I am pleased to announce that she has finally won her case for unfair dismissal. The result in my own case is due later next month.

    The details of the decision:

    The dismissal was disproportional to the fault.

    The code of ict conduct does not state that personal use of emails isn't permitted

    Tanya had a clean record and parents and staff thought highly of her

    There was no evidence given by ist that tanya had hidden the content of the email.

    Despite managent saying otherwise i had her superiors

    No parents complained, on the contrary lots of parents wrote letters asking for tanya to be reinstated.

    The email though of a doubtful humour was nothing more than what 13-14 olds are already are subjected to on a daily basis with tv and advertisement.

    Fairly conclusive I'd say.

    So will Airbus and the Directors of the school finally admit their error and reinstate Tanya?


  17. Nearly 5 years ago, I had cause to reflect on why I had started to build a website a few years earlier. Much of my thinking at the time reflects what has been said already:

    There are three users of my website: me, my students and a number of significant others. As a consequence of using the website (hypertext curriculum), each user contributes to the success of the students. Let me consider each user in turn.

    Me, the teacher.

    The first and most important user of a hypertext curriculum is the teacher. But the teacher is also the most often neglected in discussions of this kind. If mentioned, it is usual to refer to the creative enjoyment and satisfaction that comes from (what is after all) a form of vanity publishing. I do enjoy the creative side of building and maintaining a website, and I admit that I occasionally spend too long on website content rather than in marking student work, but importantly, I also use a hypertext curriculum to better organise my resources, my lessons and myself. As a better-organised teacher, I am a more efficient teacher and my students benefit as a result.

    The history part of the International School of Toulouse Humanities website is currently just over gigabyte in size, or more meaningfully, approximately 18000 files and 2100 folders. It grows at the rate of a couple of hundred files each half-term. In paper format this would be unwieldy and difficult to manage. In digital form, it is not only easy to organise, it is also accessible, flexible and easy to maintain.

    In using a website to manage my resources, I am never more than a few clicks away from anything I might need. As I write this I am 800km from my files but I can access them in a few moments if I need to. As long as I have access to the Internet, I have access to everything I put online: lesson plans, teaching resources, my mark book and even the students’ work to be assessed. In addition, a hypertext curriculum is also highly flexible. During a lesson I have the website open both in a web browser and in a format to be edited. This means I can make changes to the resources or activities as the lesson progresses, responding to the needs of the students. I remember as a student teacher I had all the questions and activities precisely planned in advance. As a more experienced teacher I used the blackboard to adjust my tasks in response to the lesson. Now I have the ‘permanent’ format – essential for students to know the tasks expected of them – but a format responsive to the natural progression of the lesson. Good lessons are often those that see plans torn up halfway through, but now nothing gets torn up.

    Even more importantly I can also respond to my needs as they arise. I regularly come across a good website, a good article or something on TV that I might want to incorporate in a lesson some time in the next 12 months. It takes two minutes to add the link to the appropriate part of my curriculum site and then I can forget about it. This acts as a kind of knot in the corner of the curriculum handkerchief; a reminder of a good idea a number of months before. Like most, I walk more slowly to the classroom if I want to plan the lesson more thoroughly, but the first thing I do when I arrive is log on and check what we did last time and what we might do today. One final organisational advantage concerns the ease with which the website organises my filing in a logical way. I used to spend hours at the end of a week clearing out photocopies, sorting and filing the worksheet masters. When I use paper resources they tend to accumulate on my desk after use. In contrast, digital resources never move - no matter how often I use them - unless of course I want them to. In conclusion, a hypertext curriculum can be teacher planner, lesson plans, syllabus, diary, worksheets, textbook, mark book, exam papers, etc. etc. all rolled into one.

    My students

    When I speak about my hypertext curriculum, I really mean ‘ours’. A significant percentage of the content of history site at the IST has been generated by the students.

    The first thing to note is that unlike a textbook (including the one designed for your syllabus) or a resource pack produced by a department, a hypertext curriculum is personal to the classes being taught. A hypertext curriculum changes every week as the latest exemplary work is added and the group projects and videos of debates and role-plays are archived. In addition, the hypertext curriculum echoes the voice of the teacher: it will be in a style and language familiar to the class. The hypertext curriculum also meets the needs of the particular syllabus options taught and the coursework designed by the centre for the current academic year and it reinforces the necessary skills in exactly the same way as they are taught in class. Very little is generic and consequently nothing is irrelevant.

    I use about half a dozen standard textbooks during the two year IGCSE history course, but how I use them is personal to me. Occasionally students will complete activities straight from the textbook, but more often than not parts of some activities are mixed with other texts, handouts or my activities. It is the website that guides the students through this maze and allows them to become much more independent learners. In last week’s seminar Anders described an experimental period in Swedish education in the late 1960s:

    We studied 2 weeks intensively with several lessons in 3 - mostly four subjects. Than we had a four week period where we worked with the subjects. During this period we only had a few "check-up" gatherings every week. It was a system that gave us the ability to plan ahead (under supervision) but most of all we were not "killed" of boredom. With today’s technology this could be developed much more than it was possible at the time. For me personally it meant that I had great skills in planning, structuring and taking responsibility for my studies which was not to bad when I went to the university

    I couldn’t agree more. With today’s technology it is possible for students to navigate through a clearly defined structure of key questions taken directly from the syllabus in their own time and at their own pace. (This continual reinforcement of syllabus structure and key questions is particularly important I think.) They can jump ahead if they want to and easily catch up if they’ve been away. The students will know when they will have tests and there are links to model answers, past papers and revision sections to help them prepare for them. If they forgot to make a note of the homework or lose the handout given in class, they can log-on from home to remind themselves and print out what has been lost. As long as they have access to the Internet they are empowered in their independence.

    Significant Others

    This is potentially the most revolutionary aspect of teaching with a hypertext curriculum. What goes on in a classroom has always been something of a ‘secret garden’, a closed, private world of teacher and learner. But when I put my lessons on the web I went public. 'Significant others' are significant because their access to our website contributes something to my students’ learning.

    The most obvious group of people who want my students to do well in exams are their parents. In all my contact with exam class parents, I try to tie my comments into the context of the hypertext curriculum. If parents are to help me, they need to understand what is required of their children. In parents’ evening I am fortunate to be able to project my website on a screen behind me as I talk. In written reports I now include URLs to contextualise the points I make, or to refer the parents to pages where their son/daughter has produced exemplary work. My email address is on the site and I encourage parents to use it. If a student is going to be absent it is helpful to know this. It takes two minutes to reply with the URL of the lesson to be missed.

    Working in an international school involves teaching a highly transient group of students. A significant proportion of students of my IGCSE entries in any year will have not been with me for the full five terms. Having a hypertext curriculum can significantly ease the transition between schools. I had a student join me this September in Year 11 who had been working through my curriculum website for the previous three months in another country, going as far as to complete his first coursework assignment before the rest of the class. Similarly, if any of my students leave, it is very easy for me to show the new school exactly what has been covered and how.

    Many schools have been very cautious with going fully online and have protected themselves with an intranet password for the exclusive use of their ‘learning community’. In my view this is a mistake. Other than parents and prospective students, there is a whole range of people who can contribute to the success of my students because our curriculum is online. If you are behind a password these people won’t find you.

    If you have a website with your email address on it, you will get emails. Once in a while these emails can be useful. I have had my students’ German and Korean corrected in the last six months and my factual errors on a number of occasions. I have had teachers send me resources because of something they saw on my site. My students have had opportunities to work on collaborative international projects because somebody saw what I was doing online. I have been able to enter online competitions because I am able to host my students’ contributions. Most significantly, I have a growing number of contacts (and not just history teachers) all around the world that first contacted me because of something they found on the site. Occasionally from these contacts you get encouragement that can put the spring back into your step. I know that not all school managers understand the time some of us dedicate to our websites. As a consequence, an occasional pat on the back from a ‘virtual’ peer can often be very welcome.

    Richard Jones-Nerzic

    Brittany, October 28-29, 2003


  18. I also read today that
    According to a 2001 New York Times article, Winton's parents were born Jewish, but he was baptized in the Church of England and used British church groups to find homes for nearly 650 children from Czechoslovakia - 25 to 30 of the children went to Sweden by air.

    Maybe we could use our e-Help Swedish contacts to try to track these people down? That could make an interesting project in its own right.

    I will see what I can find out...

    I would have thought a couple of your students IB1(?) might be looking for an IA or EE idea. We could ask the questions on their behalf. The man is 100 years old next year and the knowledge about the Swedish connection might die with him. In addition, do you think you might be able to provide a little advice for students preparing for the oral history? I want to put an experts panel together to enable students to ask for advice.

  19. The extract from the film about Nicholas Winton is http://www.powerofgood.net/

    I am hoping that some of you might be able to help out on the student forum as historical experts. In particular, I thought that the oral history specialists might be able to give some practical advice and maybe respond to student questions. I had a phonecall this evening from the British Ambassador who has confirmed that Winton will attend. We also have the names of about 10 of Winton's children and Slovak veterans. I will have at least 1hr 30 with them and three teams of student interviewers.

    I also read today that

    According to a 2001 New York Times article, Winton's parents were born Jewish, but he was baptized in the Church of England and used British church groups to find homes for nearly 650 children from Czechoslovakia - 25 to 30 of the children went to Sweden by air.
    Maybe we could use our e-Help Swedish contacts to try to track these people down? That could make an interesting project in its own right.

  20. Hereby I'd like to confirm my participation at the meeting in Bratislava.

    I'll get there by car. It will be an about five-hour drive from my town.

    I'll arrive around 4PM.

    Great news Janos.

    The hotel is booked for you (IBIS) and I have ordered secure parking. It is a bit of a challenge to drive to, very central and all one-way streets but I'm sure you'll be ok!


  21. Tanya’s offence was to have accidentally forwarded an email of an ‘adult’ nature to a class of 13 and 14 year olds. (I have attached a copy of this email below for you to judge for yourself the ‘adult’ nature of it.) The IST is a laptop school in which email communication between staff and students is routine; the implication of Tanya’s dismissal for all staff was therefore massive. With permission I photocopied Tanya’s letter of dismissal in order to fulfil her wish that staff understood the actual ‘grounds’ for her sacking. This was because at no point did the school explain to staff, students or parents why Tanya was dismissed. They still haven't. She was merely physically escorted off the premises and we were told she was no longer employed at the school. Incidentally, the same silence has accompanied my own dismissal, although as I was dismissed on the 23rd of December there was no need to escort me off the premises.

    Today, Halloween, seems an appropriate time to begin the updating of the case for members of the Education Forum. This afternoon Tanya's case was heard in the courts and I'm sure there are a lot of people here who will wish her the best of luck. It has always been my view that she was unfairly dismissed (a belief that ultimately got me in to trouble) and I am yet to meet someone other than Albiston and his lawyers who disagrees with me. I was interviewed for a significant number of positions before the British International School of Bratislava decided to take a chance on me, and in every interview with a head teacher the case of Tanya came up. Not one head teacher considered Albiston's actions remotely appropriate.

    And neither, at last, does the French Justice system consider his actions to be appropriate either. After nearly two years since Tanya was dismissed from the IST, I am pleased to announce that she has finally won her case for unfair dismissal. The result in my own case is due later next month.

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