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Teacher sacked after pupil climbs in cupboard

Teacher sacked after pupil climbs in cupboard.

A pupil with hundreds of behavioural complaints against him lied about being locked in a cupboard, and as a consequence his teacher was dismissed.

The teacher took the matter to an employment tribunal and a subsequent hearing heard that Abdul Mohammed Basit was at Pleckgate High School in Blackburn, Lancashire, teaching a year 9 class when he joked that a rowdy pupil should go in the cupboard to stop disrupting the class. After making the joke, Mr Basit said he was surprised that the pupil, known for a liking to play the class clown, did briefly enter the cupboard.

Following the lesson the boy met up with two other students from the class and they went and complained about the incident to headteacher, Mark Cocker.

The pupil stated that he had been locked in the cupboard for 5 minutes, however, Mr Basit said he was only in there for 10 to 15 seconds, and the tribunal also heard there was no lock on the cupboard door.

Despite the boy and 2 others making the accusation having long records of behaviour complaints – one with 605 entries – the school chose to believe the pupils version of events over that of Mr Basit and sacked him. Only days after accusing Mr Basit of forcing him into a cupboard, the 14-year-old pupil told another teacher that he would make something up about them, too. He also threatened to drive a supply teacher out.

The employment tribunal ruled that Mr Basit was wrongfully dismissed.

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