Durand School receives libel apology

Father of trainee teacher joins in High Court apology, pays damages and costs

The Headteacher, former Headteacher and Chair of Governors of Durand Primary School, a foundation school in Stockwell, London have received an unreserved apology and retraction over allegations made by the father of a former trainee teacher.

In a joint statement in open court read yesterday Mr Jeff Newall apologised through his Counsel for allegations he had made in 2007 and 2008 about the financial management of the School and about its treatment of Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs). He also agreed to pay an appropriate sum by way of damages and legal costs and apologised for repeating his criticisms of the School’s treatment of NQTs at a public hearing of the General Teaching Council for England.

Mr Justice Tugendhat was told that allegations implying that Greg Martin, former Headteacher, had improperly secured for himself an excessive management fee from a company set up to run the School’s income-generating operations were entirely without foundation. The court heard how the School’s innovative commercial structure, which has been thoroughly audited, has benefited the provision of education, resources and facilities enormously.

Mr Newall, who had never visited the School, also accepted that his criticisms about NQTs were unfounded.

5RB’s Justin Rushbrooke (instructed by Carter-Ruck) acted for the Claimants, while Jonathan Barnes (instructed by Freeth Cartwright) acted for Mr Newall.