Head teacher Matthew Aplin sacked over teen sex given £700,000

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Image caption,
Matthew Aplin was head teacher at Tywyn Primary School in Port Talbot

A primary school head teacher sacked after having sex with two 17-year-old boys has been awarded nearly £700,000 in compensation.

Matthew Aplin, who was the head of Tywyn Primary School in Sandfields, Port Talbot, had sex with the two teenagers he met on a gay dating app in August 2015.

School governors raised safeguarding issues and decided he should be sacked.

He was found to have been discriminated against in a tribunal panel ruling.

He was accused in May 2016 of "behaviour bringing the school into disrepute, conduct incompatible with the role of the head teacher both which seriously undermined the trust and confidence of the school in its head teacher".

But in September 2017 a tribunal upheld Mr Aplin's claims of unfair dismissal and sexual orientation discrimination.

School governors 'had no understanding'

It ruled he was unfairly dismissed and was discriminated against by the school's investigating officer, who worked for Neath Port Talbot council, on the basis he was gay.

School governors appealed that decision and lost in March this year.

The tribunal has now ordered the governing body of Tywyn Primary School to pay Mr Aplin more than £696,000.

"His career shows the claimant to be an individual who was dedicated to working in the education sector and someone who was not only ambitious but effectively so," the tribunal said.

The tribunal also criticised the governors for "acquiescing" to the wish of the local education authority (LEA) to dismiss Mr Aplin.

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Image caption,
The school governors' appeal earlier this year was heard at the Employment Appeals Tribunal in London

"The panel had no understanding of the reasons given for dismissal, the tribunal drew the conclusion that the panel decided upon dismissal but were entirely reliant on the LEA advisers for its reasoning," the tribunal said.

But it found Mr Aplin would not have been treated differently by the governors if he was heterosexual, and they would have followed the LEA advisers either way.

The tribunal noted Mr Aplin had found it difficult to obtain new employment close to his home, which he believed was because he was being "deliberately undermined".

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