Henry Fawcett primary school in Lambeth was doing badly until 1999 when a new headmaster took over, James Walker. But he was forced out in November 2008 by Lambeth Council over false bullying allegations. He was banned from entering borough parks or libraries. Files from his office were seized. He was told to stay away as his cancer was "toxic." According to the report (£) in The Times the contents of his office was put in bin bags – no personal items returned. The local Labour MP Kate Hoey says the Council objected to Mr Walker for "resisting their policies."
But an employment tribunal said the bullying allegations were a "stalking horse" to remove him and the investigation one-sided. The hostility of the council towards Mr Walker "bordered on callousness". He won his claim for unfair dismissal.
Far from being the perpetrator of bullying, Mr Walker has been on the receiving end of astonishing municipal bullying.
The Council has wrecked one of its own schools. Good teachers have left. The school roll is falling. It is not an advertisement for Local Authority control of schools.
Lambeth Council are seeking to thwart Katharine Birbalsingh from opening a free school by refusing to allow the redundant Lilian Bayliss School site to be used. They say there are places available at the Council's schools. That rather misses the point. Are those schools any good? There will certainly be lots of spare places at Henry Fawcett after the way the Council has behaved.