Headmistress was "difficult to speak to" - claim
Published: 22 Mar 2012 13:00
Moorlands Primary School headteacher Sudhana Singh claims she was forced out of her job by a "playground mafia" and is suing the governors and Reading Borough Council for race discrimination, bullying and harassment.
But yesterday Akua Reindorf, for the council, told the Reading tribunal the problems began because teachers could not approach Mrs Singh, who would just roll her eyes when they raised concerns.
She said: "They could not go to Mrs Singh because she kept herself holed up in her office with a piece of paper covering the window on the door.
"The reason that staff found it difficult to speak to Mrs Singh was because she did not allow them to speak to her without an appointment. She was dictatorial."
Mrs Singh took over the school in Tilehurst's Church End Lane in September 2009 and, giving evidence yesterday, Key Stage One team leader Wendy Witkowska, said she immediately faced a "cliquey atmosphere" among other teachers.
She said staff would stand around whispering and complaining about Mrs Singh, and the cultural trips and initiatives she introduced to the curriculum, which included an International Week, a healthy eating regime and a focus on rights and diversity.
Mrs Witkowska added: "They would stand in huddles and grumble about not agreeing with Mrs Singh. Parents and teachers weren't happy with the changes she was trying to bring in. They were up in arms.
"I came back in January after being poorly and everything seemed to have a problem to do with it. I can't explain it."
Ms Reindorf suggested to her: "Parents felt that Mrs Singh was unapproachable, much like what many of the staff felt.
"They were upset with the changes in the school. That's what it was all about, nothing to do with race." Mrs Witkowska replied: "I couldn't comment on that."
The tribunal continues.
Get more stories from our Roundup section
16 Apr 2014 18:00
ONE lane of the M4 has been closed due to an collision involving two cars.
16 Apr 2014 16:00 • Nick Gutteridge
A BURGLAR who mowed down a policeman in a stolen car and left him for dead has been jailed for nine years.
14 Apr 2014 09:30 • Nick Gutteridge
THAMES Valley Police is in the top five constabularies for stress related absences in England and Wales, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.
14 Apr 2014 08:00 • Andrew Belt
AN INNOVATIVE film has been launched to reassure parents about their child’s operation.
13 Apr 2014 17:00 • Andrew Belt
NEIGHBOURS, communities and businesses devastated by some of the worst-ever flooding to hit Berkshire can get their lives back on track with a £150,000 recovery pot.
13 Apr 2014 12:00
THE courage of Reading’s own war hero was commemorated on Saturday when a road was named after him. Members of Trooper Fred Potts’ family joined relatives of Arthur Andrews – the man he saved – to unveil the new Trooper Potts Way sign, by the Northern Interchange at Reading Station.
13 Apr 2014 08:00 • James Ash
ASPIRING broadcasters gave the Newsnight team a run for their money when they fired questions at Reading East MP Rob Wilson.
12 Apr 2014 17:30
FIREFIGHTERS were called out to a smash on the M4 this morning which injured three people.
12 Apr 2014 17:00 • James Ash
THE number of sexual offences in Reading has rocketed by nearly 50% –despite crime rates being at their lowest since 1999.
12 Apr 2014 12:00 • Nick Gutteridge
A PENSIONER who could not afford car insurance sparked a terrifying high-speed chase through Caversham after being spooked by a police patrol car.
12 Apr 2014 09:45
FIREFIGHTERS tackled a burning car on the M4 last night.
12 Apr 2014 08:00
THE last surviving Gurkha to be awarded the Victoria Cross was honoured by Reading Buses last week with a top-deck tour of the town.
11 Apr 2014 17:30 • Nick Gutteridge
A RUBBISH-STREWN patch of car park which has become a target for vandals could be set for a cleaner future after an entrepreneur revealed his desire to turn it into a business venture.
11 Apr 2014 12:30
READING-based artists are putting the finishing touches to their masterpieces as a major art fair inches closer.
11 Apr 2014 08:00 • James Ash
PANGBOURNE businesses left struggling to stay afloat after the closure of Whitchurch Bridge finally received a helping hand last week.
10 Apr 2014 16:30 • Nick Gutteridge
UP TO 300 jobs could be at risk after a Reading-based company announced a wave of job cuts today.
10 Apr 2014 16:15
POLICE are hunting for witnesses after a man exposed himself to two women along a river towpath.
10 Apr 2014 13:30
A PROFESSIONAL opera company will perform for the first time in Reading next week.
10 Apr 2014 12:00 • James Ash
A PRIMARY school is on the road to success after scoring high marks with an education watchdog.
10 Apr 2014 08:00 • James Ash
A WORLD famous endurance athlete returned to inspire pupils when a primary school geared up for its annual bike ride.