Three more lecturers sacked at Halesowen College

HALESOWEN College has sacked three more lecturers from its stricken maths department.

On Friday the lecturers attended disciplinary proceedings and were told of their fate.

This follows the sacking of maths lecturer and UCU union representative David Muritu whose pleas for reinstatement have received over 9,000 signatures on an online petition.

Acting secretary of the UCU at Halesowen College Rhiannon Lockley was distraught after the meeting.

She said: "It was a long and very emotional day.

“We just want to say how impressed we were with the integrity and dignity shown by the three lecturers who received their verdicts today.

“We now have four dismissals, with identical paragraphs for the reason of dismissal - student success, in all cases linked to specific sets of results regardless of high performance elsewhere.”

She added: “Any criticism of management strategy within hearings taken as evidence of resistance of "support".

“Thank you to all the solidarity being shown. We are ready for anything after today, and we will keep pursuing what is right whatever is done to try and scare us."

Students, councillors, MPs, colleagues and parents have signed the online petition demanding “justice for the Halesowen Four”.

Benjamin Thompson, a Halesowen College pupil from Kingsinford, said: “David was my maths lecturer and was a mighty fine teacher and maths lessons are no longer the same without him. “Bring back David.”

Halesowen College released a statement last week blaming poor maths results for the disciplinary action.

Principal Keith Bate said: “The college will not condone consistent failure to deliver expected standards of performance including the need to be accountable for outcomes in accordance with established values and codes of conduct.

“Allegations of improper conduct being made against the college which appear to be associated with this situation are completely refuted.”

Comments (3)

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5:59pm Tue 15 Jan 13

luceeloo says...

If a chef can't cook a decent meal...eventually he will be sacked.
If a firefighter cannot tackle a fire, is he in the right profession ?
If a driving instructor cannot actually drive, would you learn from him?

So why should it be any different for a teacher who has failed to teach?

Even more so, why is it only now that the powers-that-be at Halesowen College are taking action following poor results? It certainly wasn't bothered in the late 90's when my entire A Level English class failed after a senior lecturer "forgot" to cover one of the texts that an exam was based on.
If a chef can't cook a decent meal...eventually he will be sacked. If a firefighter cannot tackle a fire, is he in the right profession ? If a driving instructor cannot actually drive, would you learn from him? So why should it be any different for a teacher who has failed to teach? Even more so, why is it only now that the powers-that-be at Halesowen College are taking action following poor results? It certainly wasn't bothered in the late 90's when my entire A Level English class failed after a senior lecturer "forgot" to cover one of the texts that an exam was based on. luceeloo

8:23am Wed 16 Jan 13

CheekyChimp says...

Luceeloo: I see what you mean on the surface, but it's not as simple as that at all. If you read just some of the information available through blogs and other news reports (or given at the public meeting) then you see why the lecturers are upset. Let's use your idea of the chef who can't cook a meal: what if the chef can cook a meal but he's the only guy in the kitchen and the restaurant keeps booking more and more customers? What if when the waiters all go off sick or on maternity leave they just get the chef to do that too? Do you fire the chef if he's doing all the cooking and waiting?

And what if the chef is observed by the management and told that his cooking is fine? And what if he's observed by outside experts and is told that his cooking is fine? So actually, he's not a bad chef at all. Should we sack him then?

And what if the chef voices his opinion regularly to say that the kitchen needs more staff- is that a sign of his contempt for the college and authority, or is it a sign that he wants the kitchen to run well and just wants to do his job properly? Should we fire him for trying to do his job to the best of his ability? And what if the customers recognise this and don't think the chef is actually the one in the wrong? Should they be ignored?

Now imagine that the chef IS fired for this. Do you think it's fair that the dismissal should admit that he's a good cook- so there's no problem with ability- and that he's never done anything that could be classed as gross misconduct; but as the cooking hasn't improved HE MUST TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY? Or should the management of the restaurant be focussing on how they are screwing up and not letting the chef do his job properly?

That's what has happened to 4 people with families, good teaching records, no gross misconduct- but all of them working in an understaffed department, covering several classes AT ONE TIME, without paid expert cover being brought in. And they are meant to be fully to blame.


So while I totally respect your view- looking into this a bit shows what a complete mess this situation is.
Luceeloo: I see what you mean on the surface, but it's not as simple as that at all. If you read just some of the information available through blogs and other news reports (or given at the public meeting) then you see why the lecturers are upset. Let's use your idea of the chef who can't cook a meal: what if the chef can cook a meal but he's the only guy in the kitchen and the restaurant keeps booking more and more customers? What if when the waiters all go off sick or on maternity leave they just get the chef to do that too? Do you fire the chef if he's doing all the cooking and waiting? And what if the chef is observed by the management and told that his cooking is fine? And what if he's observed by outside experts and is told that his cooking is fine? So actually, he's not a bad chef at all. Should we sack him then? And what if the chef voices his opinion regularly to say that the kitchen needs more staff- is that a sign of his contempt for the college and authority, or is it a sign that he wants the kitchen to run well and just wants to do his job properly? Should we fire him for trying to do his job to the best of his ability? And what if the customers recognise this and don't think the chef is actually the one in the wrong? Should they be ignored? Now imagine that the chef IS fired for this. Do you think it's fair that the dismissal should admit that he's a good cook- so there's no problem with ability- and that he's never done anything that could be classed as gross misconduct; but as the cooking hasn't improved HE MUST TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY? Or should the management of the restaurant be focussing on how they are screwing up and not letting the chef do his job properly? That's what has happened to 4 people with families, good teaching records, no gross misconduct- but all of them working in an understaffed department, covering several classes AT ONE TIME, without paid expert cover being brought in. And they are meant to be fully to blame. So while I totally respect your view- looking into this a bit shows what a complete mess this situation is. CheekyChimp

10:26am Wed 16 Jan 13

Swearyknitter says...

Luceeloo; There has been no evidence that these teachers are bad at their jobs, they have been assessed by their own employers that they are GOOD teachers. Dave Muritu has results ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE, so where has your assumption that they cannot do their job come from? Based on your experience in a different department?

This is not a case of people being unable to do their jobs, plenty of information is available about the cases and the blatant disregard for their own rules by Halesowen College.

Students say they are amazed that these 4 people have been sacked as they were excellent teachers who offered support and help WHENEVER IT WAS NEEDED.

If these people were so bad at their jobs, why would the college continue to get extra work days out of them before formally dismissing them?
Luceeloo; There has been no evidence that these teachers are bad at their jobs, they have been assessed by their own employers that they are GOOD teachers. Dave Muritu has results ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE, so where has your assumption that they cannot do their job come from? Based on your experience in a different department? This is not a case of people being unable to do their jobs, plenty of information is available about the cases and the blatant disregard for their own rules by Halesowen College. Students say they are amazed that these 4 people have been sacked as they were excellent teachers who offered support and help WHENEVER IT WAS NEEDED. If these people were so bad at their jobs, why would the college continue to get extra work days out of them before formally dismissing them? Swearyknitter

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