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£28,000 payout for unfair dismissal

£28,000 payout for unfair dismissal

A teaching assistant who was unfairly dismissed from a school for keeping in touch with her sex offender son has received a £28,000 payout. Tracy Hodgkinson, 47, lost her job at Halifax Primary School in Ipswich, Suffolk, in January last year.

She claimed the school had set out to get rid of her after she informed them of her son’s arrest. Her son, then 18, was subsequently jailed for grooming and sexual activity with a girl under the age of 14. In December an employment tribunal found she had been unfairly dismissed. Mrs Hodgkinson, whose daughter died from a rare form of cancer in December 2004, said contact with her son posed no risk to pupils. She told the Ipswich Star: “I couldn’t abandon my son, he’s the only child I have left.”

Headteacher Anna Hennell James said school’s governing body was disappointed that Mrs Hodgkinson’s dismissal was not upheld by the tribunal. She added: “However, we are pleased that the judge agreed with our view that it would be inappropriate to reinstate her.”

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