Worthing school discrimination: Former teacher awarded £10,000 in compensation

A former teacher at a Church of England school in Worthing has been awarded £10,000 in compensation, after allegations of discrimination were proven at a tribunal.
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Mr Seid Razavi took the governing body of Davison Church of England Secondary School for Girls to an employment tribunal in Southampton – which ran from September to December 2023.

Mr Razavi, who is no longer a teacher at the school, alleged ‘direct race discrimination and direct sex discrimination’.

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The official government report from the tribunal listed the ‘well founded’ allegations that succeeded as: “Hazel Williams [a school line manager] taking no action to support him when Mr Razavi complained of unfair treatment;

School desk stock image. Photo: Jorge Kavicki Jkavicki from PixabaySchool desk stock image. Photo: Jorge Kavicki Jkavicki from Pixabay
School desk stock image. Photo: Jorge Kavicki Jkavicki from Pixabay

“Hazel Williams telling Mr Razavi not to use her nickname and publicly berating him;

"Hazel Williams confronting him about an email in public, instead of privately as she had been advised;

"Emma Jasper, learning supervisor, waving class papers in Mr Razavi’s face in public in a school corridor;

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"Carly Bradley [school business manager] failing to take action when Mr Razavi raised concerns and then merging a meeting about those concerns with Mr Razavi’s probationary review, and so placing all responsibility for addressing any problems onto him and not any of the other people involved;

"Headteacher Chris Keating walking Mr Razavi off school premises without first making any enquiry of Mr Razavi about the incident which had been reported to Mr Keating.”

Further complaints of harassment and constructive dismissal, on the ‘grounds of race and sex’, were ‘not well founded and are dismissed’, the report noted.

Employment Judge Hay, Jayshanti Shah, and Dr Claire Whitehouse ordered that £10,000 compensation be paid to Mr Razavi ‘for injury to feelings’.

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An interest on compensation [of £1,698.63] for injury to feelings was calculated in accordance with the Employment Tribunals (Interest on Awards in Discrimination Cases) Regulations 1996. This took the total compensation award to £11,698.63.

The Governing Body of Davison CE High School has since issued a statement to this newspaper.

A spokesperson said: “We acknowledge the outcome of the employment tribunal.

“Our school is an inclusive community where the diversity of our students and staff is fully valued and celebrated. We do recognise that an award for injury to feelings has been made and have reflected on our processes as a result of this.”

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The Diocese of Chichester said it ‘takes allegations of racial discrimination and sex discrimination seriously’.

A spokesperson added: “We are aware of the allegations made toward some members of Davison CE High School staff team and acknowledge the employment tribunal’s decision in this matter. We are confident in the board’s commitment to reflect on their current processes.”

West Sussex County Council also released a statement, which read: "We take cases of this nature very seriously and the fair and equal treatment of all West Sussex County Council employees and those employed in our schools is key to our organisational values."

Mr Razavi told the Worthing Herald that it ‘took me a long time to recover’, with regular flashbacks.

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He added: “It affected me and my family hugely. I was a conscientious worker.

"I have lived here for 50 years and it shattered my confidence.”

Mr Razavi was supported throughout the case by his MP, Tim Loughton.

The MP for East Worthing and Shoreham said he was ‘very concerned’ to hear about the ‘whole troubling episode’.

He added: “Lessons need to be learned from this whole sorry saga urgently.”