May 18, 2021 1.53 pm This story is over 14 months old

Lincoln teacher fights sacking for being ‘too close’ to pupil

He claims sexism cost him his job

A former pastoral lead has accused a Lincoln school of sex discrimination after he was dismissed for “inappropriate dialogue” with a student.

The claimant, known as Mr S Cogan, alleges that Sir Robert Pattinson Academy in North Hykeham discriminated against him based on his gender.

It comes after the school launched a disciplinary investigation into the treatment of one of its pupils from Mr Cogan, who eventually lost his job in May 2020 after the school found he had been in close conversation with the pupil in question, though not in a sexual manner.

Cogan himself said that the reason for his dismissal was based on an email he sent to senior staff members, in which he said the school weren’t observing duty of care for the pupil.

Sir Robert Pattinson Academy responded to these allegations by saying that the staff member had “engaged in and encouraged inappropriate dialogue between himself, the pupil and the pupil’s mother.”

The school also claim that Cogan failed to cooperate with investigations and secretly recorded an investigation meeting, breaking trust between the claimant and the school and ultimately leading to his dismissal.

Mr Cogan states that he was treated less favourably than a female member of staff would have been if they were in his position, though he failed to disclose details of the potential personal data breach.

After an appeal hearing was rejected, Mr Cogan escalated the case to a tribunal review, in which he claims to have been discriminated against and victimised based on his sex.

A three-day hearing is due to commence on November 15, 2021 in relation to this case.

Sir Robert Pattinson Academy has said it will “vigorously defend our actions” but cannot disclose specific details.

A spokesperson for the school said: “In order to protect all parties involved in this case the school will not address any specific details – except to say we will vigorously defend our actions.

“The school demands and upholds very strict standards around the professional conduct expected of its staff.

“The decision at issue was the result of a thorough, full and detailed disciplinary process, was upheld by the governing body and elements of the claim have already been struck out by the employment tribunal.”