June 28, 2007

Institute of Education Director Faces Tribunal Case - UK

It looks set to be one of the most high-profile — and embarrassing — personal disputes the usually tranquil world of education research has ever seen. Geoff Whitty, the director of the Institute of Education, is set to face public allegations of sex discrimination from one of his most senior ­colleagues.

Loreto Loughran was pro-director of the IoE until she walked out last month in protest against her alleged treatment after 13 years’ service. She has confirmed through her lawyers that she has issued employment tribunal proceedings against Professor Whitty for both sex discrimination and constructive dismissal.

Dr Loughran worked closely with Professor Whitty for the seven years during which the professor has led the IoE, in her role as pro-director, as well as in her previous role as academic registrar.

In a statement released to The Times Higher this week, Stephen Taylor, of solicitors Coyle White Devine, who is representing Dr Loughran, said: “She has issued a claim in the employment tribunal against both the Institute of Education and its director, Professor Geoffrey Whitty, alleging constructive dismissal and sex discrimination.

“Dr Loughran, who was the pro-director (international) and previously the academic registrar and deputy secretary, walked out of the institute on May 11 after over 13 years’ service. No further comment will be made at present.”

The IoE said in a statement: “The Institute of Education can confirm that Dr Loughran resigned from her position as pro-director (international) on Friday, May 11, having brought an unsuccessful grievance against the director of the institute. Subsequently she has commenced proceedings in an employment tribunal.

“Dr Loughran’s grievance, together with a subsequent ap­peal, were heard and dealt with in a comprehensive and professional manner in accordance with the institute’s policies and procedures. Both the grievance and the appeal were dismissed.

“The institute is confident that Dr Loughran was given a full and fair opportunity for her grievance to be considered and regrets that she chose to leave her position at the institute rather than taking up the offer of mediation that was available to her.
Dr Loughran’s long-standing experience in international relations in higher education will be missed by her former colleagues at the institute.”

The dispute will be highly embarrassing for Professor Whitty. He is currently a specialist adviser to the Education and Skills Select Committee, chair of the British Council’s Education and Training Advisory Committee, president of the College of Teachers and president of Bera, the British Educational Research Association.
He has directed a number of Economic and Social Research Council-funded research projects on the impact of education policies, such as the assisted-places scheme, city technology colleges and changes in initial teacher education.

The 105-year-old IoE is one of the world’s most prestigious centres for research, teacher training, higher degrees and consultancy in education and education-related areas of social science

From: Times Higher Education
The institute is confident that Dr Loughran was given a full and fair opportunity for her grievance ... and pigs fly!


Stuart said...

How fascinating - one of the IoE's leading lights is Professor Michael Shattock, an enthusiastic proponent of the privateering "restructuring" of higher education, co-author of the economically focused review of higher education in Ireland and advisor to the (still secret) Mallone enquiry into "corruption" at University College Cork.

All researchers out there, act now said...

The European Commission launched through the Green Paper on "The European Research Area: New Perspectives" adopted by the Commission on 4th of April 2007,a wide consultation of all research stakeholders on various research issues, including the role of the Charter & Code the opportunity or not to strengthen its impact.


Anonymous said...

managers at university of glamorgan are so corrupted

Anonymous said...

Geoff Whitty, the director of the Institute of Education, is set to face public allegations of sex discrimination from one of his most senior colleagues.

... and does anyone care about this?

... or do we just shrug our shoulders and forget about it?

... he should have tried workplace bullying....

That's not illegal...

...no-one would have bothered....

Aphra Behn

Anonymous said...

The Institute of Education, I can assure you is a place where bullying and harrassment takes place and the management do nothing because they are the ones that are doing it.
The internal grievance procedures are a joke, the stress that staff are put through when they make a complaint is unbearable.
All senior staff stick together and do their upmost to push out staff who complain and the silent ones either leave or work in fear.
I heard there was one school which consisted of 4 centres where 16 staff left from the period of August 06 - March 07.
The reason why the IOE do not follow their procedures because the bullies are their friends and most of the staff are dispensible.
Their is one serial bully [LF] who is also Geoff Whitty's friend [kept hush, hush of course] who has bullied 6 members of staff and guess what they have all left. This bully then accuses the staff member of not being able to do their work and brings a disciplinary action against that person who has made a complaint. And yes, they do nothing and promote the serial bully.
I believe Geoff Whitty did harrass her and I hope she takes him to the cleaners.
It is about time someone shows them that they can't get away with this any longer.