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How to sue an Education body- Civil Action or Judicial Review

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  • How to sue an Education body- Civil Action or Judicial Review

    Background (please accept what I write below as fact and not subjective):
    - I am a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT). After PGCE training, NQTs must complete 3 full time terms of statutory induction. You are graded per term with the final term being pass/fail. I commenced induction in March 2019. In November 2019 I was forced to resign from the school against my wishes with a poor grade that is based on fabricated paperwork because a senior staff took a dislike to me because they thought I did something that I didn't do. The poor grade that is a ďlieĒ is preventing me getting a new full time job because it tells potential employers that I am unlikely to pass induction and will require extra effort not to- all completely false. I sued the school and was granted a default judgement because the school refused to respond to the case. After High Court Enforcement became involved they eventually applied to set judgement aside- a set aside hearing is due to take place soon but that is for another thread.
    - At the time in Autumn 2019 I complained to the Education body National Teacher Accreditation (NTA) that signs off on inductions but they claim their remit is to look at schools as a whole and not deal with individual cases. NTA did briefly visit the school, acknowledged my concerns, but said that as an individual case it fell outside their remit. Their remit actually says NTA is responsible for making sure schools are doing as they should ďat all timesĒ. I have evidence that proves my case against the school but NTA refuse to look at the evidence. NTA are also publishers of the grade that is a lie, of which the evidence can prove. I have even shown NTA the default judgement but they will only accept the faulty paperwork from the school as is even though it is a lie.

    If successful at preventing default judgement being set aside, I figure my next step is to take legal action against NTA. My aim is simply to get them to relook at the grade and sign me off induction, but if they refuse, I am considering claiming for future loss of earnings as a result of not following remit fairly and defamation since they have confirmed in writing that they intend to continue publishing this ďlieĒ. It may sound crazy but for claim purposes since the poor grade could prevent me getting a full time teaching job until I retire, I am looking at claiming future loss of earnings for that entire (25 year) period (nearly £1 million).

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  • #2
    Are you in a teaching union? How have they responded? Is the establishment where you did your PGCE interested at all?


    • #3

      Not in Union, canít really afford it as Iím not full time employed as a result of the faulty grade.


      • #4
        It is a pity you did not join as a student / NQT as their legal team may have helped. I assume you passed the first term (Easter to Summer) and the problems came in the 2nd term of the three (Sept to Christmas)? Did you contact the uni where you did your PGCE? Do they have any links with this school? Is the school an Academy by any chance? This issue is outside of my knowledge but It think anyone advising may need to have this information.


        • #5
          - The timings are a little different because I started in March (term 1 for me was March-June, term 2 was July-November), but yes the issues happened in term 2.
          - Induction is the first regular job year after qualifying as a teacher at university so universities no longer apply at this stage.
          - Yes it was an Academy school (I have heard horror stories about certain Academy chains- and I unfortunately experienced one).

          Appreciate your efforts and comments ISLANDGIRL.


          • #6
            I am so sorry to hear your story. I am in a battle with an obnoxious academy chain at the moment. They are laws unto themselves. As someone who did a PGCE in later life I do understand this was a proper job but thought your uni may assist you especially if you were a good student with no reason to fail your NQT year. I am not saying they could do anything but it is good to have as many people as possible on your side. As I have said this is not my area but you may have a constructive dismissal claim? Hopefully the employment experts can look at this ( ULA ?)


            • #7
              Appreciate the suggestion ISLANDGIRL but I already know Iím ineligible for constructive dismissal because I believe you have to have worked for the employer for a minimum of 2 years- I only worked for the employer for 9 months.

              I think my best bet is to sue NTA and argue against the way they have interpreted their remit but also focus heavily on defamation because they are publishing a grade based off evidence the school sent them which NTA legitimately believe, but they also know that evidence exists that proves the opposite, yet they ignore this, which turns their belief into denial.

              I would probably compare it to person A going to a newspaper with evidence that person B is a murderer and the newspaper publishing the story even though they already know there is other evidence that proves person B is not a murderer. If this happened in the real world there would be scandal and outrage, and the newspaper would certainly be liable for the damages to person B.


              • #8
                Fully understand. However the cost of JR will be HUGE as will any court case of this nature as I am sure you are aware. The academy trust I am dealing with has rude and bullying lawyers who to be honest suit their nature!


                • #9
                  Whilst I believe everyone has a right to justice, the cost of your proposed action will be enormous. It may be cheaper to find another career, like law?


                  • #10
                    I am on Universal Credit as I have been made unemployed as a result of the school and NTAís actions, and the grade is basically preventing or extremely limiting me being able to find a new full time teaching job. In my case against the school I have therefore not had to pay fees.

                    In my case against the school: If I am successful at preventing the default judgement being set aside at the upcoming hearing, then High Court Enforcement resumes. If worse case they still donít pay I will have to apply to make the school bankrupt. I am uncertain if I would not have to pay fees to commence bankruptcy proceedings against the school.

                    In my proposed action against NTA; since it is similar to the case against the school in which I didnít have to pay fees, I am hoping the same will apply there too.


                    • #11
                      Good Luck to you


                      • #12
                        Yes good luck and please keep us informed of how you get on


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