Northern Ireland

Teacher wins unfair dismissal claim against Belfast school

A teacher who was cleared of sexually assaulting a pupil but then sacked by his school has won a claim for unfair dismissal.

The man had been accused of hugging a girl and making inappropriate comments at the Belfast school in 2011.

He was acquitted by a district judge in 2013 who said there were "significant doubts" about the prosecution case.

The teacher was then investigated by the school, which decided to fire him.

He appealed to the Labour Relations Agency (LRA), which found the school's disciplinary process had shown "significant failures".

The LRA upheld his appeal and recommended that he should return to his post "at the earliest practical date".

However, the school's board of governors ignored the LRA decision, a move described as "bizarre" by the employment tribunal.

The tribunal makes further criticism of the school describing some of its arguments during the case as "nonsense".

The tribunal will sit again on 31 July to consider what remedy should be offered to the teacher.

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