Report on broadcast by Radio 5 Live from
Newhaven Pupil Referral Unit,
Borough of Greenwich
Comparisons with the Open Learning Centre for Vocational Studies Pupil Referral Unit, Borough of Lambeth
Prepared for: Sir Henry Bellingham, MP
Date: 18 January 2018
On 17 January 2018, Radio 5 Live (Afternoon Edition) broadcast their programme from the Newhaven Pupil Referral Unit. The programme included an overview of the running of the Unit and focused particularly on the ethos of the school and management of the pupils.
Contributors to the programme included the Head teacher, Martyn Patterson, the Children’s Commissioner, Anne Longfield, Kiran Gill from the Institute for Public Policy Research, and the local in-school police officer.
From 1st August 2005 – 31 July 2007, Brian Pead was the Head teacher of the Open Learning Centre for Vocational Studies Pupil Referral Unit, Borough of Lambeth until his unlawful dismissal.
Below are comments from those taking part in the programme.
comments made by head teacher, martyn patterson
- “Our ethos is that we employ a holistic approach to our work and our students”
- “Our focus is on LISTENING to the pupils/ understanding their problems/ building up a relationship to gain their trust and create a pupil profile”
- “At the end of each day, we have a debrief session to help staff process any difficulties they may have had during the day”
- “We believe we’re a thinking school – we provide space to think about the pupils and their appalling lives and we try to understand what’s behind their behaviour”
- “We engage with pupils – often on a one-to-one basis – in order to help them understand themselves”
- “We’re teachers/parents/social workers”
- “The majority of pupils have serious issues with trust”
- “It’s important for pupils to take responsibility for their actions & behaviour”
- “we’re focused on forming positive relationships with pupils”
- “we offer a caring ethos”
- “We care about their psychological well-being”
- “We create a positive learning environment”
- “Some pupils need our intervention for a long time”
- “We offer pupils staff who will stop/listen/talk and help them overcome their personal challenges”
- “We try to meet the pupils’ individual needs”
- “We address their personal needs”
“We try to build relationships – sometimes this achieved better through one-to-ones”
“The Head has created a safe environment”
“There is a solid structure to the working day for pupils”
“Children from PRUs are far more likely to end up in prison”
anne longfield, children’s commissioner
“We need to ensure that PRUs are of the right quality”
“Individual support for each pupil is vital”
“We have to hold on to the concept of pupils receiving individual support”
“It’s an injustice if pupils DON’T get the help they need in a PRU they’ve been sent to”
“Teachers are the key to transforming the lives of pupils”
“Vacancies have tripled in PRUs since 2001”
“I in 8 teachers is unqualified”
“we all want children to contribute to society”
“My role as Children’s Commissioner is to shine a light on the quality of PRUs”
“I want to shine a light on places where things aren’t working”
“Lots of children need individual help; a lot need extra help over a long period of time”
“PRU teaching is a highly-skilled job”
“I want better offerings for the children”
“Pupils need more mental health support”
kiran gill, Institute for Public Policy Research
“We need to take brilliant teachers and put them in PRUs”
Open Learning Centre for Vocational Studies Pupil Referral Unit (OLCVS), Borough of Lambeth
- Head teacher Brian Pead
- Also a qualified counsellor
- Pupils often extremely disturbed
- Some pupils had never been to secondary school
- Some girls were pregnant (despite being underage)
- Several pupils were regular users of drugs and alcohol
- Some boys had difficulties with their sexuality
- Some boys had difficulties with body image/diet/anorexia
- The vast majority of pupils had serious emotional difficulties
- The Unit was seriously under-resourced in terms of qualified staff and budget
- Use of counselling skills to help the pupils engage
- Every pupil left with at least one nationally-recognised qualification
- Pupil attendance as high as 82% throughout the year (by pupils who had been school refusers for most of their lives)
Evidence of Success of the OLCVS, Lambeth
On Friday, 8 December 2006, Brian Pead had been frogmarched out of the Redfearn Centre by Gilhooly [line manager] and Rosa Vaz (from HR), who had unlawfully suspended him without providing him with any reasons.
On Tuesday 19 December 2006 – a day before his daughter’s 32nd birthday – Pead received a birthday present of his own, an email from Nadia Al-Khudhairy, a research therapist from King’s College, London who had spent 3 weeks conducting research into the OLCVS:
“From: Al-Khudhairy, Nadia <Nadia.Al-Khudhairy@iop.kcl.ac.uk>
Sent: 19 December 2006 10:55:38
Subject: fw: A Brilliant Model that should be considered by other PRUs
I wanted to write to you to let you know how impressed I was with the model you and your team have developed. As you are aware I have been visiting and working with prus all over London. I have now visited approximately 20. I have been more surprised on most of my visits how little focus is placed on assisting pupils in their emotional and behavioural needs. Most pupils in prus appear to me to come from difficult backgrounds and have emotional and behavioural difficulties. However, most models in prus appear not to address this.
In your pru, I found it interesting to see how you focused both on the pupils’ educational needs as well as emotional/behavioural needs. I was impressed to see how circle time was used to address any possible problems that could erupt or how you discussed difficult emotional issues. The effect of this approach was reflected in how during the 3 weeks I was working in your pru there were no fights nor verbal arguments. I contrast this to most of the other prus I have worked in where there is a fight or verbal arguments daily. This was also reflected in my one to one work with the pupils, who clearly had an insight and understanding about themselves.
I have been struck how the majority of prus have no input from Counselling Psychologist or Counsellors. I think the way that you have integrated counselling themes in enabling pupils to reflect on their behaviour and how it impacts on others whilst also maintaining your aim to teaching is impressive.
The problem in most prus is that they just focus on teaching the pupils with minimal focus on emotional needs. By addressing the emotional needs and the complex problems in their lives, you are giving them the calmness and stability within themselves to learn.
I write to enquire if you have thought of writing a paper and presenting it to a journal on your approach. I do think it is much needed and one that could be replicated in other schools.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, the staff and pupils for welcoming me to your school and taking part in our work.”
alphonso harris, detached youth worker, lambeth
(worked in the same building as Brian Pead on a daily basis)
Alphonso Harris, a Lambeth detached youth worker and Brian were of a similar age and enjoyed all types of discussions about all aspects of life that men in their age range share.
“I was part of the Lambeth Detached team that occupied the Old Library Centre in Knights Hill, West Norwood. From September 2005 – July 2006, the ground floor was occupied by an organization referred to as the Virtual School, run by Mr Brian Pead.
Brian appeared to have a very positive impact on what appeared to be some very difficult students; they seemed to interact well. As a very frequent user of the building I could tell that all the students liked and admired Brian.
As a fellow member of staff, I can honestly say me and Brian shared many conversations and I found him to be genuine and honest. We never had a cross word and he was down to earth, practical and ran the centre with a very professional attitude. His outlook was bright and all his students admired and respected him.”
extract from the book from Hillsborough to Lambeth
Thus we have a man aged a little over 50, who used the building frequently and who shared many conversations with Pead, stating for the public record that he found Pead to be genuine and honest. Harris goes further still, and states that Pead ran the centre very professionally and that he had the respect and admiration of all of his students. Why would Harris’s statement be so different from Hiley’s and Murray’s account? Harris was a frequent visitor to the centre and therefore saw Brian on a far more regular basis than Hiley ever did. Why would Harris not refer to the “hour-long conversations” that Pead allegedly had with “young, ‘attractive’ girls”? Why did Harris not refer to the allegation that Pead treated female students differently from male students for, after all, Harris was a vastly-experienced youth worker? Why did Harris not refer to the allegations that Pead would meet with female pupils in alleged private areas of the centre when Brian’s line manger agreed that that there were no private areas in the centre?
Why did Twist [investigation officer] fail to call Alphonso Harris as a witness during her supposed ‘thorough’ investigation?
And how can the views of pupils, parents and centre staff (none of whom were interviewed by Twist) be so diametrically opposed to the views of Murray and her close associate, Hiley?
a female pupil’s perspective
Her letter is published below in its entirety. Any emphasis by way of underlining is Talya Cuthbert’s and not the authors’:
“I am a former student of the Open Learning Centre for Vocational Studies. I had been struggling to find a school place as they either saw my last school report and decided I had nothing to offer them or their waiting lists were simply too long. For a short while I attended a centre for children in the same position. However the work they gave me to do was aimed at children much younger than I was and I didn’t see the point in completing it. Instead I asked the teacher for work that I would find more challenging but he said he didn’t have any. The teachers basically left the kids to it as they had no control over them. Students were getting bullied & robbed right under the teachers’ noses and nothing was said or done. So after only a few days I refused to go back as it was obvious I would not benefit from being in that environment. My mother was very upset because it was starting to look as if I would never be back in education.
Then, a friend who had also been out of school for years recommended I contact the Open Learning Centre for Vocational Studies. She had just come back from the induction day and every comment she made about the centre was positive. I remember how enthusiastic she was about going back. I had lost hope in finding a school or centre where I would be able to progress with my studies. My friend encouraged me to contact the centre despite the fact that there probably weren’t any spaces left as it was halfway through the year.
My mother rang the centre and arranged an interview with the head teacher Brian for the following week. I tried not to get my hopes up as I felt sure this would just be another let down. I was very nervous going to the interview but when I arrived I was met by the head teacher who instantly put my mind at rest as he was so friendly and helpful. He was the first teacher not to make assumptions about me after reading my last school report. He very kindly took a chance and let me attend on a trial basis. I left the interview feeling happy and confident that I would settle in. My first impression of him was that he was a genuine good person who had the best interests of the students at heart. And during the time I was there, Brian proved that my first impression was spot on.
On my first day I was pleasantly surprised at the atmosphere. The students all listened and got on with the work they were given. No one was being bullied and if a student got stuck they would raise their hand and straight away a teacher would come to help. I liked the fact that the Head teacher found a good balance between being a teacher and a friend. For example children are told to tell a family member or teacher they trust if they have a problem. It was obvious that all the students had that trust in Brian as he listens without judgement and gives you good honest advice. I think one of the reasons he is such a good teacher is because he has experience in counselling which means he picks up on things that other teachers never do.
He also encouraged students to pursue their talents and interests and gave them jobs to suit their skills. For example I love drawing so he gave me the job of making posters for the different subjects we did. My friend Gemma enjoys maths so he would give her extra maths work to do at home. Another student liked playing snooker so Brian gave him the job of organising a tournament. He let every student know that he believes in them, which ordinary teachers don’t ever take the time to do. This is just one of the many reasons why it would be so unjust if Brian had to stop teaching because of false allegations made against him.
The fact that Brian helped me to finally understand algebra the first time he explained it to me is proof of his excellent teaching skills. My parents wanted to give me the best start in life they possibly could so they worked hard to pay the tuition fees for me to attend a private school for years. While I was there, different teachers had attempted to teach me algebra but failed to explain in a way that I could understand. Brian understands that while one method of teaching might be best for one child, another child may respond better to being taught a different way. I was so happy the moment algebra made sense and it all clicked into place. My mother knew how hard I found algebra so she was really proud of me when I told her I finally understood. Brian explained it so well he made it seem easy and I know if it had just been explained like that to me the first time then I would have understood straight away.
Whenever there was a falling out between students Brian would gather them together in his office and let each student have their say on what had happened. He somehow always managed to mediate the situation without taking sides and then resolve the dispute. Whenever a student would misbehave and he would tell them to stop, nine times out of ten they would. The reason for this is because the students all have a lot of respect for Brian as he has a lot of respect for us. None of the other teachers there had the students’ respect except for Duane. Maryn obviously couldn’t cope with a child misbehaving. She would get easily irritated and act as if she was having a panic attack which only made the boy who was misbehaving act up more. The way in which she spoke to the students was very patronising. I felt she lacked the appropriate communication skills to deal with teenagers and personally think she’s in the wrong profession. I barely spoke to her because of this and could never remember her name.
On one occasion she was being very patronising to a Portuguese boy in the class constantly asking if he understood after he’d made it quite clear that he did. The students all found her quite controlling but even more so when she was promoted to deputy head [authors’ note: at Gilhooly (line manager)’s insistence.] She wanted everything to be done her way and she’d often try and convince Brian that her teaching method was better than his. I also remember that she acted differently around Brian. I got the impression she had a crush on him but at the same time she would constantly undermine him.
I heard that she claimed Brian allowed Gemma and I to go outside to smoke which is completely untrue. In actual fact it was the same rule for everyone – no one was to go out for a cigarette. However Gemma and I would sneak out anyway. When Brian saw us he would tell us off and tell us to go back inside which we did. He never gave us his permission.
One day Brian didn’t come in to the centre and when the students asked where he was Colin [Hill] said that he couldn’t make it that day. A few days passed and Colin kept saying the same thing. We all knew that Brian wouldn’t just disappear without good reason. The next morning students started asking a lot of questions about why Brian hadn’t been coming in. Colin told us that no one from the centre was allowed to contact Brian and he was not allowed to contact us and that he was not allowed to tell us any more than that. That made it clear that a complaint must have been made against Brian. Although I did not have a clue as to what the complaints were I knew that they could not be true. Everyone knew what a nice honest man Brian is so I was confident that he would return to the centre.
But weeks passed and he still hadn’t come back. The level of teaching had gone way downhill. For some bizarre reason Colin was made Head teacher which was ridiculous as he so obviously wasn’t up to the job. The centre began to fall apart and the majority of the students who had been happily attending no longer saw the point in going.
Colin told Gemma and I that we were not allowed to return to the building until further notice after an incident started by a new girl (who was extremely disruptive) got out of hand. Colin lost all control of the situation and ended up ringing the police who came charging in and made a scene which all would have been avoided if only Brian was there. He never would have let it escalate to the point where the police had to be called.
Eventually Colin contacted Gemma and I to tell us that he had made the decision that we would no longer be able to attend classes at the olcvs but we would be allowed to come in for tutorials with Duane to help us get into college or find a job. I told Colin that I would be very grateful if they would still allow me to sit my gcses. He replied that it was too late as the students had already sat them. He said I could have come in to do them but this is hypocritical of him as he stated in the letter sent to both my mother and I that I was not to return to the centre until further notice. This made me extremely upset as I could not go to the college of my choice without any gcses. I know the situation would not have ended this way had Brian been there.
Brian is the first teacher to ever gain my respect and trust. Every child should have a teacher like him. He made a big impression on each and every one of his students by letting us all know that he has faith in us. I can still remember the look of utter disappointment on everyone’s face when told Brian may not be returning to the centre. Everyone has a talent and Brian’s is teaching; it would be a travesty if he ever has to stop.”
statement from male student adrian henry
One example of Brian’s interaction with male pupils can be seen in the following letter, dated 18 February 2008, from Adrian Henry, described by Brian as an intelligent and articulate black pupil with an outstandingly charismatic personality and considerable level of decency. At the time of first publication in 2012, he was studying at the University of Greenwich in London:
“I am a former student of Mr Pead and I think he is a very nice and honest person. When he started to teach me from 2005 to 2006, he really opened my eyes to what I could achieve in life. Even to this day, his words still mean a lot to me. When everyone else gave up on me, he would tell me never to give up and that I can be anything I want to be. He also had one to ones with us as well so that we could set aims and objectives as to what we wanted to achieve. I personally think Brian is a good teacher and many of his former students would agree with me.”
There was significant evidence to show that all of Murray’s allegations were ludicrous and malicious. Yet Twist [investigation officer] continued her deadly pursuit of Brian Pead.
the allegations against Brian Pead
These had been created by the female teacher Brian Pead had had cause to dismiss for child abuse, racism and bullying:
- Masturbating in a theatre (since described as ‘nonsense’ by a spokeswoman from Lambeth
- Spending too much time with “very attractive underage females in order to groom them”
- Showing favouritism to “very attractive underage females”
- Allowing “very attractive female pupils to sit their exams in his office” [it was later proven that they didn’t even sit the exams it had been claimed]
- Not checking the CRB status of researcher Nadia Al-Khudhairy and her team [this was proven to have been bogus since ALL of the team had been checked and couldn’t have undertaken their work in PRUs throughout UNLESS they had been vetted]
- The original 7 Allegations (which later grew unlawfully to 15 before being reduced to 14 once the masturbation claim had been proven to be bogus):
- 1. irregularities in not following exam procedures;
- 2. inconsistency in the treatment of particular students;
- 3. inappropriate language to a student;
- 4. not adhering to council recruitment and selection procedures;
- 5. unfair treatment of staff members;
- 6. causing distress to members of staff through inappropriate management style;
- 7. bringing the council disrepute whilst attending a play.
chloe gordon incident
Extract from the banned book from Hillsborough to Lambeth:
Murray then goes on to record details of Brian’s interactions with Chloe Gordon, who was never interviewed by Twist. This has been written about in chapter 22, but the following is Murray’s twisted interpretation of the scene.
“Chloe Gordon, a very attractive female, [Murray’s description] Year 10 student … I was present when Brian and Chloe had a conversation. She was working part-time at a hairdresser’s salon and was mentioning that her worker’s uniform top was cut too low and that she did not want to wear it. Brian said that she should as she could get more tips if she wore a low cut top. Chloe said that she knew, but felt uncomfortable showing her cleavage. I intervened and told her not to listen to Brian as I thought that conversation to be completely inappropriate between a Head Teacher and a 14/15 year old girl.”
On 24 September 2012, the authors contacted Chloe Gordon and asked for her version of events. She remembered the conversation she had had with Brian Pead and she sent him a message (witnessed by Michael Bird) via Facebook at 20:29:
“I do remember this conversation, but it’s not like she said it was in her report. You were just a lovely teacher and made me feel safe and determined to learn. There was nothing out of line.”
Chloe Gordon, aged 21 in 2012, provided these comments of her own volition. She was not coerced in any way whatsoever. She was not paid. Her comments show that Pead had been telling the truth all along – and that Murray had lied about the nature of the conversation.
LAMBETH COUNCIL OFFICERS CONDUCTING UNLAWFUL INVESTIGATION
- Cathy Twist – assistant director of Education, Children and Young People’s Service, Lambeth
- Barry Gilhooly – Brian Pead’s line manager & assistant director
- Claire Cobbold – HR department
All three had been involved in the unlawful dismissal of another Lambeth Head teacher, James Walker, unlawfully suspended without being given any reasons why and his office – like Brian Pead’s – was ransacked following his suspension and files removed.
Walker took his case (as did Brian Pead) to the Employment Tribunal:
“On ruling his dismissal as unfair, the South London Employment Tribunal criticised the council’s inquiry into the allegations, saying this “amounted to a fishing exercise which focused on obtaining the most damaging information about the claimant. Several witnesses put forward by the council were not credible.
It criticised two senior education officers – Twist [Pead’s investigation officer] and Claire Cobbold [Lambeth hr officer].
Gilhooly, a former assistant director at Lambeth [and Brian Pead’s line manager] who carried out the investigation into the allegations against Mr Walker, was also criticised by the tribunal, which found his investigation was flawed. [Authors’ emphasis]. A Council spokesman said: “Disciplinary procedures had been reviewed but it would not take action against any individuals.”
Simon Hughes, mp for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, said: “I have rarely found a tribunal as willing to condemn as many people, senior people who came before them, for not telling the truth. This is not good enough.”
derek langan, teacher of refugee & asylum seeker pupils
On 30 December 2007, and prior to Brian’s case being heard by the Employment Tribunal in January and February 2008, Derek Langan wrote to Twist [investigation officer] about the perverse verdict against Brian Pead.
Langan had taught English to the refugee and asylum seeker pupils and he did an excellent job – ensuring that they not only secured gcses in the traditional subjects of Maths and English, but also in their own mother tongue.
Derek Langan has given permission for extracts of his letter to be reproduced here. This paragraph gives an indication of the lack of finances at the olcvs:
“One afternoon, Sandra Roach had to take one of our students to St Thomas’ Hospital in a taxi when she started to bleed heavily. She was only 15 and had been raped at the airport in Somalia before flying to London some months earlier. After the emergency, Mrs Roach asked to be repaid from petty cash for the fare, only to be told that there was no petty cash, and Brian simply paid her from his own pocket.”
On Brian Pead’s unlawful suspension and removal from the Unit, Langan wrote:
“Brian was removed and no understandable explanation was given to the staff or students and the stage was set for the kind of vicious riot we had in March.”
Langan was referring to a knife fight that occurred in the Unit after Pead’s suspension in which seven police officers attended. This was under the acting headship of Colin Hill. The Unit was clearly deteriorating in terms of ethos and discipline. A year before, the Unit had been described by Nadia Al-Khudhairy of King’s College as “the best pupil referral unit in London” of all those she had visited.
Clearly there was something rotten in the state of Lambeth.
Langan continued to describe how Lambeth Council had largely been responsible for the lack of staff morale: “The situation was not helped either by the treatment of Duane Maddison, who had a really excellent relationship with the students, being constantly denied an update of his contract demanded by his bank which resulted in his losing out on a move to a bigger family home.”
Langan continued on the theme of Brian Pead having challenged Lambeth about the lack of finance provided to the Unit: “As I was paid out of Lambeth’s central budget, I wasn’t too worried about my contractual situation, but I witnessed a situation where we were getting by on a wing and a prayer. Though generally happy with my own pay and conditions, I am still angry that I had to wait four months after I left its employ for Lambeth to finally pay me five days’ pay owing to me. I’m also angry that my final three week employment (six days pay) with Lambeth were curtailed as this breached the original, clear understanding re my work.”
Langan then focused on the pupils:
“I have to say, too, that there was not enough awareness on the part of the Authority as to the very damaged minds of many of our mainstream (not refugee) students and to their need for stability and security.”
“The psychotherapeutic approach used by the Head within an on-going school situation operated whereby anti-social behaviour was dealt with on an immediate or at least same-day basis by bringing home to the student why he/she was acting in a certain way and how they were damaging themselves most of all. There were elements of individual and group therapy involved here with the psychological problems of the students being addressed.”
This intelligent analysis of Pead’s leadership and management of the Unit by Langan is important. He understood exactly what Brian was achieving. His analysis is remarkably similar to that of Nadia Al-Khudhairy, the research therapist who had invited Brian to write a paper about his running of the Unit for a psychology journal.
Langan was acutely aware that Pead’s emphasis on running the Unit was not a psychotherapeutic one, but a learning one. He informed Twist [investigation officer]:
“You would have been surprised to witness the good, old fashioned teaching that took place in an atmosphere of sound discipline – the Head was a real stickler here – and a requirement for quite high standards in these subjects.”
Thus Twist [investigation officer] was left in no doubt by Langan that there was considerable learning taking place within the Unit. He continued to vilify the local authority: “I feel that the Unit lacked that element of close contact with the wider services and facilities of the authority.”
Langan commented on the excellent ethos of the OLCVS:
“A significant number of students who couldn’t get into any school in the borough or who were simply not cut out for a large school arrived punctually each day, worked quite hard and generally behaved like decent human beings.”
Langan explained more about the success of the Unit: “Moreover most students (all in the case of the English as an Additional Language students) went on to further education.”
This was factually correct. Brian Pead had taken a group of more than sixty disaffected, deprived and disillusioned pupils and given them hope and direction in their lives so that the majority went on to further education and to lead decent lives.
“I feel here that an audit of the school’s work would be useful. Also the psychological approach being used could well be looked at by the appropriate services. Recently I discussed my experiences with an old acquaintance, Dr Gerald Wooster, formerly Psychiatric Adviser to the University of London, and he expressed a deep interest and excitement at what was attempted at the School by Brian.”
This was an extraordinary paragraph from Langan. Firstly, he suggested to Twist [investigation officer] that Lambeth should conduct an audit into the success of the Unit so that best practice could be disseminated throughout the borough. Langan continued:
“In my 30+ years in teaching I have seen these kind of young people being sent to prus, suspended and expelled. However, this kind of therapeutic approach as an integrated part of sound school practice may well have something to offer and it would be a pity if the opportunity to assess it was lost in this instance.”
In her book The Drama of the Gifted Child, (Perennial, 1997), Alice Miller writes (p.120) that: “We can only hope that, in the future, children will be encouraged at an early stage to learn to take their feelings seriously, to understand them and come to terms with them, if not in the home then perhaps with guidance in school.” (Authors’ emphasis]
In the coming weeks, Twist [investigation officer] failed to enter Langan’s letter as evidence into the forthcoming Employment Tribunal. Furthermore, Langan’s letter cast considerable doubt on Murray’s allegations. Twist [investigation officer] had considerable evidence which showed that this entire case had been fabricated, yet she still did not call a halt to the Tribunal. In fact, she did the opposite. What on earth could be compelling her to destroy an innocent whistleblower?
EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL AND THE FRAUD ACT 2006
Cathy Twist – the “Investigation Officer” – deliberately and knowingly entered false evidence into the Court. Her own “Investigation Report” was unsigned:
Section 2 – fraud by false representation
Section 3 – fraud by failing to disclose information
Section 4 – fraud by abuse of position
It is clear from the evidence that Cathy Twist, an Assistant Director in the Children and Young People’s Service in Lambeth, is guilty of sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Fraud Act. These are, of course, criminal offences, to which we could add perverting the course of justice, perjury (to the Tribunal), and misconduct in public office.
She unlawfully falsely represented unsigned and altered witness statements as being bona fide documents; she failed to disclose bona fide evidence to an Employment Tribunal which resulted in a perverse and unlawful decision and she clearly abused her position to set Brian Pead up as Alex Passman described.
alex passman, employment law specialist
Brian Pead had been replaced as Head teacher on 2nd April 2007, whilst he was still under suspension – thus his eventual dismissal was entirely unlawful.
On 19 April 2007, Passman had represented Pead in the first “Investigatory” hearing at Lambeth. Extract from from Hillsborough to Lambeth:
“The hearing did not go well as Lambeth attempted to throw as much mud at Pead as possible in an attempt to ‘make it stick’ and to discredit him. The act of discrediting Pead was of paramount importance to Lambeth and the police.
As they left the building in Canterbury Crescent, Brixton, they de-briefed in a nearby coffee house.
Passman told Pead that he was being set up, and that Lambeth would find him guilty. Twist [investigation officer] didn’t allow any of Passman’s rebuttals to the allegations and Passman said that this was absolute nonsense. He added that there was something incredibly strange about this case.
Yet this was not just a case of inept management. This was a case of corruption, of child abuse and a cover-up of Hillsborough proportions.”
Extract from Information Memorandum, prepared for Sir Henry Bellingham, MP and barrister:
03 Jan 2013 Alex Passman, an award-winning employment lawyer, calls Michael Bird and also emails him about the book (having been sent a copy). Passman says: “I have received the book and I agree that the sections in which I am mentioned give an accurate description of the events.”
david icke website
On 17 March 2013, Brian Pead’s story appeared on the www.DavidIcke.com website. One comment on the website read: “The targeting by the police of this grandfather is reminiscent of the Stasi. Will keep you updated on Brian Pead, a brave and good man.”
Another read: “Sadly the vilification of whistle-blowers is a common theme.”
Another read: “I’ve just come across this and it is eye opening what Lambeth Council get up to. They really do think they are above the law and act with a total disregard for facts and evidence. There are evil people in Lambeth Children and Young People’s Service department still abusing children and ruining families.”
alleged masturbation in the theatre incident
The tale of corruption surrounding Twist [investigation officer] and Murray is compounded upon a reading of the following email from Ipek Yўlmaz, more commonly known as Elif, who accompanied Brian to the White Bear Theatre.
She emailed Brian directly, after he had naturally contacted her to let her know that her good name had been sullied by Murray. The email was sent on 6 February 2007 at 19:42:14 via Hotmail, some nine months after she had visited the theatre. We are obliged to note that this email was sent to Brian prior to his being interviewed:
“My name is Ipek Yўlmaz. I am 26 years old and live in Turkey. From March 2006 until January 2007, I lived in London whilst studying there. I met Brian in London whilst attending a Life Coaching seminar and we became very good friends.
On 3rd February 2007, Brian contacted me to make me aware of the allegations in question as they not only involved himself, but also brought my name into disrepute. As a result, I have decided to write the following and wish it to be presented to a panel in any hearing in which Brian may find himself in respect of these allegations.
On one night out, we visited the White Bear public house in Kennington, London, where a colleague of Brian’s was appearing in a play, The Horse Dealer’s Daughter. I was introduced to Annabel Field (Brian’s colleague) by Brian as she arrived at the pub. I was surprised by the size of the Theatre, as it was in the back room of the pub, with only 2 rows of seats as I recall.
Neither Brian nor myself was introduced to any other member of the cast, so I am not aware of how the alleged cast member’s wife would even know who Brian was, and nor could she have known that he worked for Lambeth.
Furthermore, the allegations that “during the performance Brian and the female performed sexual acts” is completely untrue and I am concerned to have my name and character linked to these allegations in this way. I am also concerned that the allegation has been made but contains no concrete facts – for example, what specific sexual acts are alleged to have taken place? The most we did was to hold hands.
Notwithstanding this, I understand from Brian that Miss Murray has also alleged that I gave Brian “a hand job” during the performance. I am astounded at such an allegation for the following reasons:
- the allegation is completely untrue
- it would be against my religion to perform such an act in such a public place
- had the allegations been true, it would have been possible for everyone in the theatre and all the actors and actresses to have witnessed the act, since it was a small ‘theatre’ – completely open and with no stage. Since the play was performed on the floor of the room, with actors and actresses moving around with high frequency, it would have been possible for every person present to have witnessed this alleged act
- both Brian and myself waited behind after the performance and had a drink together while waiting to say goodbye to Annabel and congratulate her on her performance
- when we met up with Annabel in the pub after the performance, at no point did she bring the matter of this alleged incident to either Brian’s or my attention. At no point did she look ‘embarrassed’ or ‘shocked’ as the allegations claim, and in fact I recall her and Brian hugging one another as we left – hardly the action of someone who was embarrassed or shocked
- if such an incident had indeed taken place, I would have thought that the police would have been called, and they were not called
- I should also have thought that we would have been asked to leave the theatre and no such request was made
- I should have thought that the ‘cast member’ would have been named and note that his name was not included in the allegations against Brian
- however, even if this incident had occurred, and even if this particular cast member did say the things he was alleged to have said, I would have thought that the cast member would have spoken with Brian about the incident and no such conversation took place
- I am also wondering why Miss Murray waited 8 months to inform Lambeth of this alleged incident when she was apparently told about the incident ‘very soon after the performance’
- I wish to repeat that I did at no time engage in sexual acts with Brian in this theatre and I more specifically did not perform ‘a hand job’ on him
- I am considering taking legal action against Ms Murray as this allegation is completely untrue. It is offensive to my culture and to my family that it has even been suggested that I would behave in such a way.”
This email from Ipek Yўlmaz was given to Twist [investigation officer] during her pretence at an initial investigation. She failed to act upon it. She did not call the Turkish woman as a witness, even though Yўlmaz was willing to fly to England to clear her own name and in defence of Pead. Twist [investigation officer] clearly failed to conduct a reasonable investigation on the terms defined by the Court of Appeal in the case of Salford Royal nhs foundation trust v Roldan (2010), the Court of Appeal was asked to consider how far an employer must go during an investigation to satisfy the Burchell Test.
In the case of British Home Stores v Burchell in 1980, the Employment Appeal Tribunal laid down the three-stage test – known as the ‘Burchell Test’ – which an employer must follow to establish whether an employee has committed an act of misconduct. It says they must:
- believe the employee was guilty of misconduct.
- have ‘reasonable grounds’ for holding that belief, e.g. an allegation or other (credible) evidence.
- carry out a ‘reasonable investigation’, taking into account all the circumstances, before imposing disciplinary sanctions including dismissal.
Twist [investigation officer] was in possession of documents – incontrovertible evidence – that showed that the allegation was clearly false. Once a manager or investigator is in possession of knowledge that a person making allegations has lied, he or she is bound to conclude that if that person – in this case, Murray – had lied about the masturbation in the theatre, then it is likely that the rest of her report was also lies (which it was).
The Newhaven website shows the following:
“Educational Psychologists work with staff and other professionals at Newhaven to help provide the individualised support that their young people need so that they can get the most out of their education and prepare them for adult life. This can include assessment and intervention with young people themselves to help them overcome the emotional and cognitive barriers that may be getting in the way of their learning and development.”
This is precisely the type of work that Brian Pead was undertaking more than a decade ago and yet certain Lambeth council officers created a perverted and distorted account of Brian’s ground-breaking work by claiming that the focus of his work was on “lengthy conversations with very attractive underage female pupils” when, in fact, bona fide testimony from others show this not to have been the case and that he treated all pupils equally.
duane maddison, student wellbeing officer
When asked by Twist whether Brian Pead had favoured certain pupils, Maddison replied: “Specific female students did get more attention from Brian and these were students who were going through difficulties at home and who were very vulnerable teenagers” [abused/ underage pregnancies/ drug and alcohol-taking/:
The investigation officer then asked Maddison whether he ever witnessed any conversations between female students and Brian Pead that were, in his opinion, inappropriate in terms of language and tone.
Maddison’s reply is staggering: “No. I was around the conversations that Brian and students had and I was happy about the topics of conversation. I didn’t see anything untoward.” [Authors’ emphasis]
When asked to describe Pead’s relationships with staff, Maddison provided yet another revelation: “It seemed that Brian got on well with everybody.”
When asked by Twist [investigation officer] whether any of his colleagues had complained to him about Pead and his style of management, Maddison said, “No.”
Thus there was not a single complaint to anybody about Pead’s management style until after he had to report Murray to Gilhooly [line manager] and then, upon Gilhooly [line manager]’s instructions, dismiss Murray because of her inappropriate treatment of children.
annabel field, english teacher and actress
In an email to Brian Pead, Annabel Field wrote:
From: annabel field
Sent: 17 April 2006 16:35:58
As predicted after our chat – this has been a very reflective holiday for me!
To cut a long story short the gist of it is that I’m moving out of London in the next couple of weeks. I know that this is not ideal in terms of the exam groups and I’m sorry for that. I did intend to stay on but to be honest, the chance has suddenly come up this weekend to move to Bath and I feel that I have to take it as soon as possible in an effort to quash my recent restless state!
I am sorry to make things difficult for you guys – I do feel bad but hey I’m sure there is someone ready and waiting to take on the job without having crazy burning ambitions to act at the same time!
I know that I’m gonna see you but just to let you know at this point that I have really enjoyed working at the school – and it’s definitely been my most positive teaching experience in London. Thank you for all your support to me!”
According to Twist’s fraudulent report, this became:
“Field said, “It was a difficult experience working with Brian. I’m angry at the way that he treated Maryn. But reading Maryn’s statement made me realise that Brian had bullied me. I didn’t feel that he was quite trustworthy.
I didn’t think that I had any concrete evidence to make a formal complaint about Brian. My conversations with Brian did upset me. In the end I didn’t want to be near Brian anymore. I was wary of him.”
When asked by Twist [investigation officer] if she thought that Brian was an appropriate person to be in a management role, Field replied curtly, “No.”
colin hill, exam officer
Colin Hill was interviewed on 25 January 2007 and asked whether Pead had allowed this to happen, Hill replied:
“I am the Exam Officer at the centre. The legal requirements and responsibilities for exams were known at the centre. Concerning the situation with Cassandra, this didn’t actually happen as she didn’t actually sit the alleged exam. I have no knowledge of her sitting an exam in the centre office. The incident with Cassandra never happened as Murray claimed.”
As early as 25 January 2007 (a full 3 months before she first interviewed Brian Pead) the investigation officer was in possession of facts that proved that Murray had lied in her 8-page ‘report’. At no point did she inform Pead of this. At no point did she inform Pead of Hill’s comments which completely exonerated him. Nor did she dismiss Murray’s other claims.
CLARE MANIFOLD, COUNSELLING SUPERVISOR
Just a few months prior to Brian’s unlawful suspension, his counselling supervisor wrote in her end of year Report on him:
“[Brian is] a clear and thoughtful communicator, he uses counselling techniques such as active listening and reflection intelligently, he is able to perceive transferential and counter-transferential material, he is able to both receive and give feedback appropriately and is empathic and professional in terms of, for example, boundaries and agenda-keeping. He has shown himself to be a reliable student, committed to his counselling studies and the counselling process.
His strengths are good boundaries, evident intelligence and a serious commitment to the work. He forms trusting relationships, gives insightful feedback and is a generous contributor.”
Clare Manifold’s cv is impressive: a Master of Philosophy, an ma in the Psychology of Counselling, a Diploma in Adult Education, a Diploma in Cognitive Therapy, an bacp accredited counselling supervisor and ukcp registered.
PIPPA, COUNSELLING PEER
In her end of year peer assessment of Brian Pead, Pippa, a doctor’s receptionist, wrote:
“He is very brave. He is open and it is quite remarkable how open he is. Brian is open to suggestions and learns by experience. It is fascinating to observe how he operates. He listens intently and sees everything. Although he listens to the opinions of others, he draws his own conclusions. He is the best example of how a person can be in a group.”
RAMAN, COUNSELLING PEER
In his end of year peer assessment of Brian Pead, Raman, an advocate for the under-privileged Sri Lankan community in London, wrote:
“Brian has a natural interest in humanity. He is sensitive and honest with his views. He is incredibly insightful. He is a natural counsellor. He is open to feed-back and critical debate. He has the ability to separate professional discussion from personal friendship.”
Furthermore, Brian was the only male in a class of 18 student counsellors on the Advanced Diploma course. Mariella Aristidou, Maggs Lennon and Mirjana Feigin said that they had learned “loads” from Brian, that they had also learned to be able to “express one’s vulnerability but have the ability to discover your own resourcefulness.” They also commented on the value of being in a group process with him.
How could Clare Manifold, Pippa, Raman, Mariella Aristidou, Maggs Lennon and Mirjana Feigin have come to these conclusions about Brian Pead (after working with him twice a week over a period of one year) and yet Twist claim the very opposite?
SANDRA ROACH, learning assistant
When interviewed by Twist, Sandra Roach said that she found Brian Pead to be dependable, reliable, hard-working, conscientious and honest. She also noted that he had seen in her that she possessed far more qualities, both as a human being and as a learning mentor, than she was being asked to use in her present role.
She said that she always felt comfortable in Brian’s company and that she was happy to be a part of his team because he never judged people, he was always open and transparent and because he gained the utmost respect from his pupils and gave it in return.
Roach said that students felt comfortable in Pead’s company and that they trusted him enough to discuss their personal issues. She also liked the fact that Pead could identify potential areas of growth in all the staff as well as the pupils.
Extract from Sandra Roach interview:
Twist: Allegations have been made that Brian may have given favourable treatment to female students and female staff. Are you aware of any situations where this may have been the case? Did you witness this happening?
Roach: No, I have never seen this at all. I had been a teaching assistant in Brian’s classes in Maths and pshe. I felt that the students respected him.
Twist: Did you ever receive any complaints from students or other colleagues concerning Brian?
Roach: No, never.
How, then, did Twist come to the conclusion that Brian Pead had to be dismissed for his “unfavourable” treatment towards female staff? (He had been management roles since the age of 18 with no complaints ever made against him.)
PERMANENT GAGGING ORDER
On 16 July 2013 at the High Court in London, Lambeth Council spent thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money in (ironically) instructing a highly-paid human rights lawyer to seek a permanent gagging order against Brian Pead. The Application was unsuccessful.
This had followed the unlawful imprisonment of Brian Pead in March 2013 for alleged “Contempt of Court” (committal proceedings having been brought by Lambeth Council). Brian spent 2 weeks in HMP Pentonville for not having removed all traces of the book from Hillsborough to Lambeth.
Co-author Michael Bird was not sentenced. Michael Bird had never worked for Lambeth Council and had never reported child abuse, racism or bullying.
THE INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND RESEARCH
According to its website, the IPPR “is the UK’s pre-eminent progressive think tank. Our mission is to open up opportunity, power and prosperity to everyone.”
THE PRIME MINISTER’S VIEW OF MENTAL HEALTH IN EDUCATION
On Monday 9 January 2017, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, made a speech which confirmed that Brian Pead had run the olcvs with great foresight and vision. Her speech was principally about the mental health of society in general and the mental health of children and young people in particular. Any emphasis is that of the authors’ and not of the Prime Minister’s:
“What I am announcing are the first steps in our plan to transform the way we deal with mental illness in this country at every stage of a person’s life: not in our hospitals, but in our classrooms, at work and in our communities.
This starts with ensuring that children and young people get the help and support they need and deserve – because we know that mental illness too often starts in childhood and that when left untreated, can blight lives, and become entrenched.”
That was the Prime Minister’s perspective on mental health and well-being and she confirmed what Brian Pead had been doing at the OLCVS a decade ago, which was drawing attention from skilled professional therapists at King’s College, London and from Dr Gerald Wooster, a member of The Institute of Psychoanalysis with a background in psychiatry, university student health and former nhs consultant in Psychotherapy at St George’s Hospital, London, with responsibilities for group therapy.
And not only did the Prime Minister corroborate that mental well-being starts with children and young people (as Brian Pead knew when he devised the system of circle time and restorative justice within the pupil referral unit) but she also confirmed that teachers assisting mentally ill pupils would be trained to ensure that their work was up to standard with such pupils and also that their own mental well-being was monitored and nurtured. Brian Pead was doing all of this a decade ago and, furthermore, he had been in the vanguard of seeking trained counsellors in schools since 1986 when he became a teacher at Bexleyheath School in Kent and saw the link between mental well-being and learning.
Brian Pead was unlawfully suspended and dismissed from his role as Head teacher of a PRU in Lambeth after reporting child abuse, racism and bullying
- The Investigating Officer, Cathy Twist, failed to conduct a proper investigation
- Brian’s Line Manager, Barry Gilhooly, was complicit in the deeply flawed investigation, as was Claire Cobbold from Lambeth HR
- Twist, Gilhooly and Cobbold were rebuked by MP Simon Hughes for lying to an Employment Tribunal
- Brian Pead had been invited to write a paper for a psychology journal about his ground-breaking methods
- Brian Pead’s work was found to be “exciting” by Dr Gerald Wooster
- Spurious allegations of a sexual nature had been employed against Brian Pead by corrupt Lambeth Council officers
- Spurious criminal convictions then resulted, none of which ever had any legal merit
- Brian’s family, and some friends and colleagues were turned against him
- The Newhaven PRU is run according to the principles employed by Brian Pead in Lambeth
- The Prime Minister’s view of mental health echoes that of Brian Pead’s more than 10 years previously
REDRESS FOR DETRIMENT CAUSED
Under the Law of Equity, Brian Pead is seeking the following as a minimum:
- A letter of apology from Lambeth Council admitting its errors in his unlawful suspension and dismissal;
- Confirmation that there was no sexual element to his suspension and dismissal;
- That the same officers involved in James Walker’s unlawful dismissal were the same as those involved in Brian Pead’s;
- That the allegations created against him in November 2006 were spurious and unfounded;
- That at all times in his role as Head teacher of the OLCVS pupil referral unit, Brian Pead acted professionally and in accordance with his Job Description;
- That he acted appropriately in whistle-blowing on child abuse, racism and bullying;
- That the Council now accepts that the investigation into the allegations against Brian Pead was deeply flawed and that the council officers had lied to a Tribunal, (as in the case of James Walker);
- That at no time did Brian Pead treat any pupil inappropriately or unfairly;
- That at no time did Brian Pead treat any member of staff inappropriately or unfairly;
- That – as pointed out by Nadia Al-Khudhairy – the pupil referral unit was ground-breaking, successful and that it provided a “safe and secure emotional base” for the pupils in which they could grow and prosper
- Compensation for loss of earnings (to include inflation and probable promotion);
- Compensation for defamation, slander and libel;
- Compensation for the loss of his house;
- Compensation for the loss of his counselling job;
- Compensation for unlawful and unsafe convictions arising from his time at Lambeth;
- Et al.