Scots private school will not appeal ex-teacher’s payout in bullying case

Rector Dr John Halliday will leave his role in January. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Rector Dr John Halliday will leave his role in January. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A private school condemned for creating “a culture of bullying and intimidation” will not be challenging a £60,000 pay-out to a former teacher.

Last month an employment tribunal ordered the High School of Dundee to compensate one-time US law enforcement officer Daniel Goodey after ruling he had been unfairly dismissed.

The 58-year-old principal teacher of religious, moral and philosophical studies claimed a minor stand-off with a pupil was allowed to escalate by senior management.

The tribunal judge, Ian McFatridge, said the school had tried to “bully the teacher into apologising” to a girl after sighing in exasperation when she stormed out of class.

Mr Goodey, from Perthshire, maintained that the school’s leadership and management style had been responsible for “the loss of many fine teachers over the last decade”.

He said he had endured “extremely threatening and unpleasant” meetings with rector Dr John Halliday, who is to leave in January.

The 64-year-old has been appointed Scottish Rugby’s ambassador on Rugby Europe.

Now, after “significant consultation and deliberation” the school’s board of directors has confirmed it will not be appealing the tribunal verdict.

Board chairman Iain Bett said: “Because of the potential impact of an extended appeal process on our whole school community, we have decided not to appeal the employment tribunal ruling.

“We remain committed to a collegiate and supportive culture and have the best interests of everyone in the school community at the heart of all our decision-making.

“We have taken the statements made in the tribunal report extremely seriously and whilst we disagree with the ruling, we take heed of the matters raised.

“As already communicated to our parent body and staff, we will be undertaking an independent review of our internal management and governance procedures and processes and we are committed to learning and improving from this experience.

“In recent weeks we have taken the time to consult with both parents and stakeholders in a series of open and one-to-one forums and the overwhelming consensus is that as a school community, we wish to move on now in a positive way.”

Former pupils at the £13,600- a-year school include singer KT Tunstall, author AL Kennedy, broadcaster Andrew Marr and Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross.