Headteacher at school that won the Princess Diana anti-bullying award is banned from teaching for BULLYING – after telling pregnant staff to ‘stop flaunting their bumps’ and branding one mother-to-be a ’15-ton whale’
- A head teacher has been banned for bullying her pregnant colleagues
- Mahzia ‘Pepe’ Hart, 53, was in charge of Trinity Church School in Somerset
- She told a colleague to ignore her morning sickness and to not ‘flaunt her bump’
A head teacher bullied her female colleagues at a Church of England school which won the Princess Diana anti-bullying award, teaching watchdogs heard.
Mahzia ‘Pepe’ Hart, 53, has been banned from teaching for bullying pregnant colleagues at Academy of Trinity C of E VC Primary School, Radstock, near Bath.
During her headship, the school was rated outstanding and she won a number of personal awards, including a national Pride of Britain award in 2008 for innovative practice in an area of deprivation.
A tribunal found she told one colleague ‘to ignore her illness’, namely morning sickness, and ‘to get on with it’ and ‘to stop flaunting her bump to parents’ and to try ‘to conceal her bump’.
On being told that the same colleague had been sick, she told her: ‘All this being tired will not wash with me, it needs to change, just because you are pregnant’.
She also told her that her ‘woe is me attitude had to change’ too and snapped: ‘I keep wondering if you got pregnant because you think teaching is too difficult’.
The woman was also stunned to be told ‘For God’s sake you are flaunting your bump. No other professional would have a problem hiding their bump.’
Mahzia ‘Pepe’ Hart, 53, has been banned from teaching for bullying pregnant colleagues while head teacher of Academy of Trinity C of E VC Primary School, Radstock, near Bath
When another colleague complained about her workload while 33 weeks pregnant, the head told her ‘Pregnancy was not an excuse’, the panel found.
She also unreasonably asked both teachers to cancel or change appointments with her midwife.
Mrs Hart claimed she was the victim of ‘conspiracy’ and denied all the claims against her. Following the ban she said she is looking forward to ‘setting matters straight’ at trial next year in High Court.
One colleague said they witnessed Mrs Hart reprimand a colleague who was heavily pregnant for not completing Nursery displays.
She also made a number of offensive remarks to other staff including referring to one as ‘such a t**t’ and another as a ’15 tonnes whale’,
A tribunal found she told one colleague ‘to ignore her illness’, namely morning sickness, and ‘to get on with it’ and ‘to stop flaunting her bump to parents’ and to try ‘to conceal her bump’
Mrs Hart became Head in 2005 and the school achieved ‘Outstanding’ status following OFSTED inspections in 2009 and 2013.
The 2009 report stated: ‘The secret of the school’s success is the tremendous drive and ambition of the headteacher which are shared by all staff and governors.’
As a church school, it was also inspected by the Diocese of Bath and Wells to ensure the school was messing up to its Christian ethos. It was rated Outstanding in the 2009 and in 2014 reports.
On December 18, 2015, Mrs Hart resigned, along with her two deputy headteachers, saying it was due to a ‘vile, toxic and damaging social media campaign’.
Colleague C told the panel that after watching Mrs Hart give a TV interview in December 2015 she posted on line:
‘I’m listening to her now. Want to punch her. I want someone to call it that the secret to her outstanding school is bullying.’
Mrs Hart became Head in 2005 and the school achieved ‘Outstanding’ status following OFSTED inspections in 2009 and 2013
The panel heard that Mrs Hart, who claimed she was the victim of ‘conspiracy’ and denied all the claims against her, was accused of a string of bullying offences many of which were dismissed but also others which were upheld.
Paul Hawkins, who chaired the Teaching Regulation Agency hearing, said: ‘The panel found that Mrs Hart was guilty of abusing her position of trust towards staff.
‘The panel was satisfied by the evidence presented that Mrs Hart had displayed a deep-seated attitude that led to harmful and bullying behaviour towards staff.
‘There were numerous examples of Mrs Hart being abusive about members of staff to other members of staff, both verbally and in text messages.
‘The panel has found that Mrs Hart said on occasions that sickness was not acceptable and also bullied staff in relation to the exercise of their maternity rights and access to a reference for future employment. The panel has also found that Mrs Hart put unreasonable pressure on staff.’
Banning her from the profession for at least two years, Mela Watts. For the Education Secretary, underlined: ‘Mrs Hart denied all of the allegations against her, as was her right.
‘However, throughout the hearing and despite the findings of the panel, Mrs Hart has failed to make any expression of remorse or demonstrate any insight.
‘In the view of the panel, her absence of insight has prevented Mrs Hart taking any steps to address her harmful behaviour.
‘In my judgement, the lack of full insight means that there is some risk of the repetition of this behaviour and this puts at risk the future wellbeing of staff.’