Early last year Susan Pope was reported to the police by her 15 year old son for smacking his younger brother after he swore at her. The police arrested Mrs Pope, questioned her in regards to allegations of abuse, remanded her in a cell overnight and then released her without charge. Social services investigated into the allegation and the children were taken into care and placed on the Child Protection Register. However, following investigations the social services returned her children to her care and they were removed from the Child Protection Register.

Mrs Pope was, however, suspended from her position as a school nurse at the Malvern St James School in Worcestershire and subsequently dismissed. The school claimed that the rumours could have a damaging effect on the school’s reputation.

The former school nurse commenced unfair dismissal proceedings in the Tribunal and subsequently lost her claim. The Tribunal rejected her arguments that her conduct was insufficient to amount to dismissal, that the investigation was inadequate and that her right to a private family life had been infringed.

Whilst the decision to dismiss may seem harsh, the Tribunal obviously decided that it was not outside the range of reasonable responses.

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