Mr John Fotheringham worked as a teacher for Perth and Kinross Council until he was dismissed in 2011 as he was no longer deemed capable of performing his role. The problems started for Mr Fotheringham when he first fully registered as a teacher in 2003, with Mr Fotheringham reporting interpersonal difficulties with pupils, staff and management at Perth academy. He was also the subject of complaints as he apparently adopted a rigid, rule-based attitude (contrary to other teachers), although he believed that he was taking the appropriate steps to deal with poor behaviour and that other teachers were not properly following the rules. Mr Fotheringham subsequently suffered from stress and depression as a result of these issues and went off work sick for a period of time. After a year’s medical suspension he was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome but returned to work. However, the situation at the school then escalated and he was dismissed in 2011. He subsequently made a claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination in the Employment Tribunal.
The case came before the Employment Tribunal earlier this year, with the Employment Tribunal finding in Mr Fotheringham’s favour in his claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. He was awarded £78,417 as compensation for injury to feelings, loss of earnings, and interest.
Perth and Kinross Council commented on the case: “The council stands by the extensive efforts to address Mr Fotheringham’s difficulties during the time he was employed with us. It was, therefore, disappointing that the employment tribunal held that additional measures over and above those that the council had already put in place should have been considered.”
There appears to have been no comment from Mr Fotheringham.