Socialist Worker

Defend Sue Caldwell

Issue No. 2239

Sue Caldwell

Sue Caldwell

Suspended teacher Sue Caldwell has been formally charged with gross misconduct by her employer.

Trade unionists need to urgently campaign for her reinstatement.

Sue is the NUT union branch rep at Friern Barnet secondary school in Barnet, north London. She is also president of Barnet NUT.

Sue was suspended in January after one parent complained that she encouraged students to join protests against education cuts. She denies the charges.

Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for Sue’s reinstatement—including actor Ricky Tomlinson and film director Ken Loach.

The parent who allegedly made the complaint is of a child who Sue does not teach.

In contrast, children who Sue does teach have posted many messages of support on a Facebook group.

One wrote, “We have the right to be able to protest against the tuition fees. I may not be rich, but I have big hopes for the future. I don’t want my dreams crushed because the government raised our tuition fees, and for the record, Ms Caldwell is an amazing teacher.

“There’s no need for sacking a teacher who cares about her students’ future.”

Many parents have also posted supportive messages.

There will be a hearing on Friday 11 March where Sue could be dismissed from her job. The charges against her are a attack on a union rep and also on students’ right to protest. She is the only teacher in Britain facing such an attack over the student protests.

The victimisation of Sue can be stopped. When Indro Sen, a maths teacher and joint NUT rep at Kingsland school in Hackney, east London, was victimised in 2002, teachers struck in his support. They were part of a huge campaign against his victimisation that involved students and parents.

The “capability procedures” against him were eventually abandoned. The whole trade union movement must urgently get behind Sue and demand her reinstatement.

Messages of support with the subject Reinstate Sue Caldwell to

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Article information

Tue 15 Feb 2011, 18:48 GMT
Issue No. 2239
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