After a seven day hearing before a fitness to practise committee of the Education Workforce Council, the Welsh teaching regulator, Cornwall Street’s Jonathan Storey (instructed by NEU Cymru) was again this week successful in preserving the career of a high profile Headteacher. His client, who faced several charges that he had treated members of staff unfairly in different ways, was found not guilty of the vast majority and issued with a reprimand (the lowest form of sanction) in relation to one matter only.
The hearing, which took place in North Wales and then – in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic – online, featured a large number of witnesses for the prosecution and defence and complex (and voluminous) documentary evidence. Jonathan’s cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses – three teachers who alleged they had themselves been treated unfairly and accused Jonathan’s client of having victimised them and presided over a culture of fear, and two governors who accused Jonathan’s client of smearing the teachers in governors’ meetings – was instrumental in highlighting inconsistent and implausible features of their evidence, challenging the alleged unreasonableness of some of his client’s decision making, and raising the concern that all five were pursuing an agenda to remove the Headteacher.
Jonathan’s speech making and legal argument – which was reported on the BBC and in local media along with much of the rest of the hearing – ultimately persuaded the four person fitness to practise committee to reject most of the allegations and to take a lenient course in relation to one remaining issue.
Jonathan is a specialist practitioner in the field of professional regulation and works regularly with teachers, nurses, doctors, and other professionals facing disciplinary proceedings at all stages from initial referral to appeal. His approach combines persuasive advocacy with highly personalised and compassionate advice and expert support throughout the life of a case. Having worked in education, served several schools as a governor, and trained school leaders and lawyers in matters of education law, he is particularly sought after for his expertise in working with teachers and Heads and is regularly instructed by the major teaching unions and privately.