1,000 sign petition backing Chepstow teacher

4:08pm Thursday 9th January 2014

AN ONLINE petition calling for a sacked Gwent teacher to be reinstated was signed by 1,000 people in 48 hours.

The petition calls for an investigation into the dismissal of Kathy Currie, Chepstow School's former head of English, who was sacked by the school for reasons which have not been disclosed.

Mrs Currie, who began teaching there in 1986, is set to have an appeal against the decision to sack her heard this month, by a panel of independent teachers or governors from other Monmouthshire schools.

The Argus understands a date has not yet been set.

Created by former assistant head teacher and English teacher at Chepstow School, Mike Rees, the petition asks Monmouthshire's cabinet member for children's services Councillor Elizabeth Hacket-Pain to investigate Mrs Currie's dismissal last November.

According to Mr Rees, who has posted a series of articles about the dismissal on a blog entitled "Reinstate Kathy Currie", such an investigation will show her dismissal to be "unwarranted".

"Prior to 2012 Kathy Currie was considered a good teacher and head of department," said Mr Rees. "The actions that have been taken since then, procedures designed to tackle poor performance, are considered by her supporters to be perverse.

"The performance of Chepstow's English department under Mrs Currie's direction has not been poor. In 2006 a report by Estyn stated that standards in English at KS3 and KS4 showed good features with no important shortcomings. Post-16 standards were described as being good with outstanding features.

"In recent years GCSE English results have been better than the Welsh average. In 2012 the school's GCSE English results were the ninth best of the 36 secondary schools in south east Wales".

When asked for a comment a spokesman for Monmouthshire council referred to a statement made last month, that they could not reveal why the teacher was sacked and could not comment on the online campaign set up by Mr Rees.

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