29 Nov 2017
GMB Southern Region, the trade union for school support staff, call on school governors and Catholic diocese of Clifton to take responsibility following confirmation from Wiltshire Police that Jerome McCormack, the head teacher for Christ the King Roman Catholic Primary School in Amesbury, has been summoned for Common Assault at Salisbury Magistrates Court on 15th December 2017.
The summons relates to an incident at the school in May 2017, when Mr McCormack is alleged to have discharged a foam fire extinguisher, and that foam struck a teaching assistant employed at the school in the face. Other staff members have also given statements that staff and pupils were sprayed during the incident.
GMB had previously called for the Bishop of Clifton, the Right Reverend Declan Lang to intervene at the troubled Amesbury Primary school, and called for head teacher, Jerome McCormack, to be suspended while an investigation took place. The Union’s own investigation revealed an extremely worrying pattern of staff being harassed and bullied at the school. See notes to editors for copy of previous GMB press release
Carole Vallelly, GMB Regional Organiser, said: “GMB are very concerned that the school governors, Wiltshire Council HR and the Catholic Diocese of Clifton have failed to treat this matter with the seriousness that it deserved. Once the matter was reported to them they dithered and took several weeks before they even conducted a health and safety investigation into the incident, it is as if they didn’t want to know.
“In particular, the GMB member who received the foam in her face is still off sick due to the trauma, yet the school governors have failed to apologise or take any responsibility, and the employer has failed to take any steps to facilitate a return to work for her.
“This is one of the most extraordinary and disturbing incidents that I have come across in all my time as a trade unions organiser, and it reflects very poorly on the standard of oversight and governance of schools in the Catholic Diocese of Clifton. The matter was brought to the attention of the Bishop and his Director of Education, yet they simply stood back and pushed the responsibility onto school governors.”
Contact: Carole Vallelly on 07912181476
Andy Newman on 075408592 or
GMB Press Office on 07970 114762