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Teacher Miss Rusty celebrates as name is cleared over 'racy' novel

A TEACHER sacked in a “racy” book storm could go back to the classroom.

Leonora Rustamova aka Miss Rusty

A TEACHER sacked in a “racy” book storm could go back to the classroom.

Leonora Rustamova was last night celebrating news she has been cleared of any misdemeanours by the General Teaching Council (GTC).

And it ended a three-year nightmare for the former high school teacher, who had been sacked from the job she loved.

Now she is hoping the GTC ruling will help her win an industrial tribunal.

Mrs Rustamova, who was known as Miss Rusty, learned at the weekend that the disciplinary body are taking no action over her summary dismissal from Calder High School.

She was sacked by the head and governors from the Calderdale school after coming up with a book called Stop! Don’t Read This, which she said she had written to encourage literacy among Year 11 pupils.

The furore broke out when the book – which made sexual references and a comparison between two teenagers and “gorgeous Mr Gay UK finalists” – was published online and attracted nationwide attention.

Last night, however, the mother of one from Salendine Nook was delighted and relieved.

“It has been an awful time.

“I got the letter from the General Teaching Council on Saturday and it took 15 minutes to summon up the courage to open up the envelope.

“The council said it had re-examined all the facts in the case and decided there was no case to answer, so they are taking it no further.

“It had been referred to them as a matter of course when I was sacked, supposedly for a serious disciplinary breach.

“This has been hanging over me for three years and stopped me doing the job I loved. I never wanted to do anything else but teach.

“I loved every minute of my career, working with young people.

“It has been a dreadful time but now I feel so relieved and there have been great celebrations in the Rustamova household all weekend.

“I still love teaching and who knows, I may well go back. But I have concerns over the problems in state schools, where there is too much power invested in the head and the governors.

“This thing has set me on a new course and I have two great jobs, working with adult education students in Leeds and with students at the University of Huddersfield.

“Now I hope that the Teaching Council ruling will help me in my fight with the Employment Tribunal.

“I won an appeal against their findings and I hope when the next hearing comes along they will consider the Teaching Council verdict.”

Mrs Rustamova was sacked from her £34,000-a-year post at Calder High School in Mytholmroyd, near Hebden Bridge, for gross misconduct in 2009.

Governors accused her of bringing the school into disrepute, undermining its authority and demeaning pupils and parents.

Her marriage collapsed and the appeal against her dismissal was rejected, despite considerable support from colleagues, pupils and parents.

The 41-year-old teacher, who was at the school for 11 years, claimed the book was an innovative way of getting her pupils interested in their work.

The book, which was peppered with expletives, named several teachers and featured five Year 11 pupils – all real students and referred to as Miss Rusty’s favourites.

It was finally published last summer by Hebden Bridge-based Bluemoose Books.

 

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