Opinion Former Article

NASUWT: Comment following the sentencing of Mr Peter Harvey

Commenting following the sentencing of Mr Peter Harvey of All Saints RC School, Mansfield at Nottingham Crown Court this morning, Chris Keates General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers' union, said:

"The events of a day last year have changed the lives of Mr Harvey, his wife and family forever.

"Nothing will ever be the same again.

"Mr Harvey will always be haunted by the fact that he caused injury to one of his pupils. From the outset, he has shown nothing but the deepest remorse for his actions.

"His career, a job at which he excelled and which he loved, is in ruins.

"No more will he be able to teach and inspire young people, as he clearly did for hundreds of pupils over many years.

"The sentencing today does not end Mr Harvey's ordeal.

"Despite the fact that he has received sympathetic treatment at the hands of the Court, his Employers are showing no sympathy.

"It has been clear to all, throughout the court proceedings, that Mr Harvey is very unwell and was so at the time of the incident.

"It is, therefore, in our view quite unnecessary and inappropriate for the School Governors and the Local Authority to seek to dismiss Mr Harvey, rather than to support an application for ill-health retirement.

"We deeply regret that Mr Harvey's Employers are apparently not even prepared to consider this course of action.

"His Employers have already stopped his salary prior to any hearing to dismiss Mr Harvey. Indeed they were seeking to dismiss him before his trial even started.

"No one, least of all Mr Harvey, is seeking to excuse or diminish the seriousness of what took place but he has already served time in prison and will never be able to do the job he loves ever again.

"Is it really necessary to punish him and indeed his wife and children further?

"Compassion would cost his Employers nothing.

"The NASUWT will continue to make representations to Mr Harvey's Employers for them to reconsider. If they do not then we will have no alternative but to explore what legal redress may be available to him.

"The facts surrounding Mr Harvey's case raise a number of serious concerns which have implications for the whole teaching profession.

"I have today, therefore, written to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, raising these concerns and asking for an early meeting to discuss what steps might be taken to seek to ensure that such a situation might be avoided in future.

"Finally, I want to state our appreciation for the reasonable and generally supportive way in which the media has reported Mr Harvey's case over the last year.

"Many of you have asked for opportunities to interview Mr Harvey and his wife. Mr Harvey's solicitor has been advised of all requests and later today she will be discussing with Mr Harvey how he wishes to proceed with these, taking into account of course any medical advice."

ENDS

Chris Keates (General Secretary) Mobile: 07966 202 403

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