Socialist Worker

Conel staff demand reinstatement of sacked assistant teacher

by Emma Davis
Issue No. 2331

Dee Topping addresses the demonstration (Pic: Emma Davis)

Dee Topping addresses the demonstration (Pic: Emma Davis)

About 100 staff and students protested at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (Conel) this Tuesday lunchtime, furious at the sacking of Dee Topping, an assistant teacher at the further education college.

Dee has been scapegoated by the management after five students were accused of smoking cannabis during a college trip to Thorpe Park.

Dee was told she was being relieved of her duties last week, despite the fact it has not been made clear why Dee is the one judged ultimately responsible for the student’s behaviour when more senior staff were also present on the day.

Protestors were not calling for the blame to shift horizontally however – they wanted to see the management called to account, as chants of “sack the management, not the teachers” filled the air.

Many of the lecturers I spoke to also said it was ridiculous to believe anybody could “police” teenagers in the way the Conel management are seemingly advocating.

Protesters vowed to return the following Tuesday to continue to fight for Dee’s reinstatement, with many also calling for the management to go instead.

There will be another protest outside Conel College, High Road, Tottenham, London N15 4RU, on Tuesday 4 Dermeber from 12.30pm.

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Tue 27 Nov 2012, 18:57 GMT
Issue No. 2331
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