I would love to go back to teaching
A TEACHER from Carlisle is celebrating after winning a five-year
battle to clear her name.
Joanne Sherry, 50, who taught religious studies at Trinity
School in Carlisle, and risked being banned from ever teaching
again, was cleared of professional misconduct yesterday by the
General Teaching Council (GTC) in Birmingham.
Minutes after the verdict Miss Sherry told the News &
"Im ecstatic. Im in shock. I cant
believe it. For five years I said I didnt do these things
and for five years no-one listened to me.
I worked with some really horrible people and I just want to
forget it all now."
Miss Sherry, who represented herself during the hearing in
Birmingham, taught at the school on Strand Road for 16 years
until her relationship with senior management broke down and
She was hauled before the GTC accused of five serious allegations
between 2000 and 2002. The hearing has taken 18 months to resolve
the allegations, which included:
- [various charges not clearly relevant or true]
- leaving a class unattended on April 4, 2001 to go to Carlisle
police station to make allegations against the school and its
former head Mike Gibbons.
She was found guilty of the last allegation and was given
a reprimand by the panel. This remains on her file for two years.
Sarah Bowie, chair of
the GTC panel, said:
In criticising Mr Gibbons to the police, Miss Sherry demonstrated
a deliberate intention to undermine Mr Gibbons authority.
Such conduct also brings the reputation of the teaching profession
into disrepute and her actions fell short of the standard expected
of a registered teacher and is behaviour which involves a breach
of the standards of propriety expected of the profession. We
decided to issue you with a reprimand.
Ms Bowie said the panel accepted Miss Sherry was suffering
from stress but that she had previous good history as a teacher
and there was no evidence her behaviour would have affected pupils.
They had seen numerous testimonials from colleagues,
parents and former pupils praising Miss Sherrys dedication,
enthusiasm and ability to inspire pupils, she added.
Miss Sherry, who now works for the Court Service in Carlisle,
has the right to appeal to the High Court against the reprimand.
There I times when I really miss teaching and would
love to go back but who would employ me after all this?
I really dont know what Ill do. I need some time
to think about it as Im exhausted.
Earlier this year she successfully sued her union the
National Union of Teachers for failing to give her legal
advice when she needed it. She plans to celebrate yesterdays
victory with her family.
Reason for quoting this: Mr Gibbons'r
right not to have the police called if he breaks the law and
not to be seen as an equal human being by his pupils
The authority of headmaster Mr Mike Gibbon not to have the police
called is stated by Charles
1 in his tribunal case, who didn't think in terms of laws
but of what is modern, what is a good vanity project, what is
appropriate or innapropriate, and what is "undermining
"I do tell them so England was never an elective
kingdom but an hereditary kingdom for near these thousand years.
Therefore, let me know by what authority I am called hither.
I do stand more for the liberty of my people than any here that
come to be my pretended judges. And therefore let me know by
what lawful authority I am seated here, and I will answer it.
Otherwise, I will not answer it."
He sounds quite a New Labour sort of man. He'd be funding
the Olympics and the Millienium Dome now instead of schools and
pensions, and he wouldn't be hereditary so much as an oligarch,
chosen for office after a long career of being appropriate and
not undermining authority himself.