Was there a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence in the suspension of a teacher?
In Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth the High Court held that yes there was a breach. A teacher had been suspended due to force used with two children to remove them from a class. At the time she was not asked to give a response to the allegation and no alternative to suspension was given. The teacher then resigned the same day.
The Judge held that suspension in this situation was not a neutral act, following Mezey and Gogay. The statutory guidance for local authorities was taken into account and it was noted that acting on impulse should be avoided and that suspension should not be the default position. The suspension was not given on the grounds of child protection but to “allow the investigation to be conducted fairly”.
It was concluded by the Court that in this case suspension had been adopted as the default position and was acting on impulse, which, in turn, amounted to a fundamental breach of contract.
5th September 2017