Talks over dismissal of principal of St Andrew’s junior school

Dr Jacquie Campbell taking legal proceedings over her sacking a month ago

Dr Jacquie Campbell was sacked a month ago from her position as principal of the St Andrew’s College junior school.

Dr Jacquie Campbell was sacked a month ago from her position as principal of the St Andrew’s College junior school.

 

Mediation talks are taking place at the Four Courts between legal and professional representatives of St Andrew’s College and Dr Jacquie Campbell, who was sacked a month ago.

She was principal of the college’s 265-pupil fee paying junior school.

Barristers Tom Mallon for the college and Mairead McKenna, counsel for Dr Campbell, are leading negotiations in a bid to resolve, at the suggestion of a judge, legal proceedings taken by Dr Campbell against the college following her dismissal on October 11th.

Dr Campbell, who alleges she was unfairly dismissed, sought a direction from Judge Jacqueline Linnane in the Circuit Civil Court directing her reinstatement.

When first before the court last week Judge Linnane had suggested to both sides that they might consider mediation in the case. Ms McKenna today told the court that mediation talks were taking place on Monday and the proceedings could be put back, for mention only, until this Thursday.

Dr Campbell told the court in a sworn statement she was head of the junior fee paying primary school which has 28 teachers. She had been appointed 11 years ago to what she described as a prestigious position carrying a significant remuneration package.

She was challenging what she described as a purported and unlawful decision of the college to terminate her position and alleged it was clearly and inextricably linked to her complaints to the principal of the college and the Board of Governors.

Dr Campbell claimed she had not been given any support in dealing with “one particularly difficult family” in the school. She had no doubt her dismissal was a direct result of her having made protected disclosures within the meaning of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and was making a claim for unfair dismissal.

She told the court she had suffered “aggressive conduct” from the family concerned, unprecedented in her 33 years of teaching, and had been feeling increasingly threatened and intimidated.

Dr Campbell said she had been shocked when called to a disciplinary meeting for “conduct causing concern to the Board of Governors” and at which she had been represented by the Irish National Teachers Organisation.

She said she had never been suspended but had been dismissed, which she considered devastating and damaging to her.

Judge Linnane said she was glad the parties had decided to consider mediation and adjourned Dr Campbell’s motion until Thursday.

St Andrew’s co-educational and inter-denominational college in Booterstown Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin, was founded by the Presbyterian community and shares the motto of the Presbyterian Church.

The college, which declares “a tolerance, understanding and appreciation of others” among its ideals, has 1,300 pupils and 100 teachers and charges fees of €8,290 for enrolment in its junior school, €6,590 for secondary school and €8,700 for its international baccalaureate degree programme.