AN ASSISTANT teacher at a Staffordshire school has denied she used the F-word within earshot of children in the playground or that she was responsible for “inappropriate images” on Facebook.
Paula Williams of Foster Avenue, Hednesford, Cannock, who was employed at Bridgtown Primary School, North Street, Bridgtown, Cannock, also denied she used the phrase “sexy beast” to a child.
She was seeking compensation for unfair dismissal at Birmingham Employment Tribunal against the school and Staffordshire County Council which runs it.
Miss Williams told the tribunal she had not done anything wrong and complained she had been unfairly dismissed.
Head teacher Joanna Raybould confirmed Miss Williams had been dismissed after allegedly using the F-word among children in the school playground and allegedly using “inappropriate images” on Facebook.
Mrs Raybould told the tribunal an anonymous letter had been sent to the school containing “certain allegations” and that Miss Williams’ alleged behaviour had been witnessed.
She said that Miss Williams’ behaviour was also being monitored at the time.
The tribunal was told that the school governors dismissed Miss Williams on Mrs Raybould’s recommendation.
Miss Williams denied using the F-word in the playground or being responsible for the Facebook images and accused Mrs Raybould of failing to approach her about the allegations.
“I was not given a chance to clarify the matter,” complained Miss Williams. “And no children complained they had heard it said.”
She also denied using the phrase “sexy beast” and said it had been said by a child and not her.
Tribunal judge Mr David Ansti said he could not understand why Mrs Raybould had not approached Miss Williams about the allegations or why the school governors failed to go back to a witness who had made allegations.
Miss Williams also denied an accusation of “winding up” parents and said other staff had been responsible for putting the alleged inappropriate images on Facebook and not her.
Mr Ansti complained at one stage during Miss Williams’ cross examination of Mrs Raybould, that the situation was becoming “heated” and called for a “more measured tone.”
The hearing has been listed for several days and a decision is expected at a later date.
The school was recently praised by Ofsted for its improvements.