£14,000 payout to Clarendon Academy head’s former lover
5:00pm Sunday 10th March 2013 in Latest News
Wiltshire Council has paid £14,000 to former Clarendon Academy data administrator Angela Honey-well to settle an employment tribunal out of court.
Mrs Honeywell, 42, of Bradford Road, Trowbridge, was due to appear in Bristol, where her claims of constructive unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and detriment against the Academy Trust of Clarendon Academy and Wiltshire Council were scheduled to be heard.
Mrs Honeywell had an affair with headteacher Mark Stenton in the summer of 2011 and he quickly moved into her marital home, which she had shared with husband, Chris Honeywell, 42.
In October 2011, she was reconciled with Mr Honeywell, afterwards alleging her position at Clarendon was undermined, being signed off sick on multiple occasions before finally resigning in April 2012, citing that her job had become untenable.
Wiltshire Councillor Lionel Grundy, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The council has reached a settlement with the assistance of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service which is in the best interest of the school and its children.
“We all know the background to the case, but I don’t want to say any further on the subject as the issue has been dealt with by our legal department.”
The Honeywells have said they are glad the case is over as they found the full-day pre-hearing, held in January, to be a difficult experience.
Despite, Clarendon now being an independent academy, Mrs Honeywell’s claim refers to a time when the school was overseen by Wiltshire Council and so it has paid her settlement.
Graham Payne, a Trowbridge town and Wiltshire councillor, whose ward includes Clarendon Academy, said: “£14,000 is a very expensive affair for the people of Wiltshire.”
And Jeff Osborn, who is also a Trowbridge town and Wiltshire councillor, said: “Public money has been spent on this.
“I have no connection with the school as it’s now an academy, and out of Wiltshire Council control. I can’t even ask questions about it.
“If I or the council had more authority on the issue, this is something we’d have delved into. I think the governors really should have looked at the situation more carefully.”
On the day Mrs Honeywell’s relationship with Mr Stenton ended, the headteacher kicked in the door of the Honeywells’ home, and had to be asked to leave by police.
He later sent a text to Mrs Honeywell’s then 14-year-old daughter Amy, a Clarendon pupil, threatening to commit suicide.
During January’s employment tribunal pre-hearing, a claim of sexual harassment against Mr Stenton, 42, was dismissed.
A joint statement from Wiltshire Council and Clarendon Academy said: “The priority of everyone concerned is to ensure the pupils have the best learning environment possible, without unnecessary distractions.”