South London teacher 'victimised' at school after whistleblowing in claim over 'working 100 hours extra a year'

The teacher raised concerns about working hours to his boss
The teacher raised concerns about working hours to his boss -Credit:Getty/Justin Paget

A teacher who 'suffered demeaning treatment from a London school because of his whistleblowing' has won part of his employment tribunal against the school and local council. Ayodele Martin claimed he was victimised after emailing Anne Hamilton, head teacher of Evelina Hospital School in July 2017 expressing concern that staff at the school may have worked an extra 97.5 hours over what they should have in the 2016/17 academic year.

Hamilton subsequently blamed Martin for a change in the school’s opening hours that was introduced at the beginning of the following academic year in September 2017 during meetings with other staff members. She also sent him an email later in the year accusing him of failing to meet standards. Martin asked her to specify what standards he wasn’t meeting four times, but Hamilton didn't reply to him.

A tribunal judgement dated November 2023 by Judge Tsmados found Martin suffered demeaning treatment from the school because of his whistleblowing. In one incident referenced by the tribunal, Hamilton took seven months to inform Martin that a complaint made against him by another member of staff wasn’t being pursued. Tsmados described the way in which Hamilton dealt with the case as ‘completely inappropriate’ and said her treatment of Martin was influenced by his whistleblowing.

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Aydoele Martin joined Evelina Hospital School as a teacher in 2015
Aydoele Martin joined Evelina Hospital School as a teacher in 2015 -Credit:Google Street View

In another incident, Hamilton told a governing body meeting in March 2018 at which Martin was in attendance that she was taking a member of staff through ‘capability procedures’, without stating the name of the teacher. While no performance measures were ever taken against Martin, Tsmados accepted that Hamilton’s statement appeared to be a ‘pointed reference’ to him.

Kate Bennett, another senior teacher working at the school at the time, was also found to have treated Martin in a demeaning way because of his whistleblowing. Tsmados dismissed two of Martin’s other allegations, saying they did not amount to detrimental treatment.

A future hearing will reach a decision on what damages, if any, Martin should be awarded by Evelina Hospital School and Southwark Council.

Martin has brought five separate claims against the school and council. All his claims were initially thrown out but he successfully appealed the decision to strike out three relating to detrimental treatment that were newly dealt with by Tsmados in the November 2023 judgement. Martin is also in the process of appealing the decision to strike out another of his claims.

Martin joined Evelina Hospital School as a supply teacher in June 2015. He was appointed a maths and ICT teacher in September of the same year. Martin was the highest paid teacher in the school at the time.

Southwark Council declined to comment on the case because of ongoing legal proceedings. Evelina Hospital School failed to reply to requests for comment.

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