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Headteacher ‘gave hubby’s firm £500k of contracts’

Denials: Ruth Ejvet with husband Nish

A HEADTEACHER was sacked and reported to police after her husband’s building company was awarded £500,000 of work at her school, an employment tribunal has heard.

Ruth Ejvet allegedly allowed one £145,000 contract to be given to the firm without consideration of other bids, knowing it was against the rules.

The 2017 project was botched — resulting in ‘stinking’ toilets — and a further £100,000 needed to be spent to fix the problems, the tribunal was told.

Mrs Ejvet, 57, is also accused of authorising her own pay rise and giving jobs to her daughter and a friend without doing criminal records checks.

But she claims she was unfairly dismissed for gross misconduct and is seeking compensation of more than £1million. ‘I have worked in education for 32 years,’ she told the tribunal. ‘My career has been totally unblemished.’

Mrs Ejvet was hired in 2007 as headteacher of St Margaret’s CofE primary in Barking, east London. The school was taken over by the Genesis Education Trust in April 2017 and three months later she went off sick. She was suspended after concerns began to emerge about her conduct.

After making enquiries, police decided it was a civil matter.

But she was sacked without notice in January last year after requesting a delay to a disciplinary hearing because of depression and anxiety she said had been brought on by the allegations.

She told the tribunal she had been dismissed for whistleblowing about the running of the school.

The trust’s boss Beverley Hall, 53, said contracts were awarded to her husband Nish’s firm ‘without due process’. She said the cash would have been better spent on equipment and staff.

Mrs Ejvet is claiming unfair dismissal, breach of contract and discrimination due to disability caused by poor mental health triggered by the investigation. The East London Employment Tribunal will give its judgment later.