Monday, 14 December 2015

3000 Days And 1000 Miles - The Last Post

Andrew Kidd Duke Street Primary School Chorley Jane Watts “The better I get to know men the more I find myself loving dogs.” Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970)
How To Handle Stress Like A Dog
If you can’t eat it or play with it then pee on it and walk away.

I have been asked many times about my life and how I coped with the aftermath of the events of 27 September 2007. It seems incredulous that 3,000 days have passed since that moment and how my life has changed.

My thoughts of the people who treated me so badly still touch raw and painful memories of the events and facts that led to the unjustified destruction of my career and life through malicious and cruel scheming.

I am proud: I have faced and survived the ordeal. I cannot begin to describe the pain and torture that resulted from such an allegation. Suffice to say that it is the very worst experience imaginable and the scars of the injustice never heal; I have learned to live with it but I can never forget or forgive !

I fought: My case has been the subject of several BBC television and radio productions. I have featured in numerous newspaper articles and my determined actions brought about a Parliamentary Review in the House of Commons by the Select Committee for Children, Schools and Families on 17 June 2009. I have spoken and corresponded with two prime ministers, ministers of education and even the offices of Her Majesty. I have the honour and satisfaction of contributing to numerous final year degree students’ dissertations and have participated in a host of other interviews, UK and internationally.

I am determined: Above all else, I wanted to establish my innocence. To whom and by whom remains an enigma ! The police detectives soon established that I had not committed the alleged assault. Yet, as they said, the absence of any evidence could not substantiate innocence. They commented that, in their opinion, I had been victimized.

I am grateful: In many respects, my polygrapher, Don Cargill, saved me from the black depths of utter despair. He said to me, after my ordeal; “Remember Jane that you are an innocent person !” Without this conclusive statement, I would have been lost – he knew that I did not assault the child and so did I ! I clung onto his words and slowly re-emerged into the person I am today.

In February 2008, a month before my polygraph examination, I concluded that my career at Duke Street primary school had ended no matter what the outcome - ‘Catch 22’. I could never return to teach at a school that had taken so much of my very heart and soul. I would never again be trusted or respected in education in the UK; I would never allow myself to be a part of a system where bullies have free reign !

I believed in justice: However I had no expectation of fair treatment at my ‘trial’ hearing. The ‘quango’ court already had reached a point of no return and truth never had a part to play. The outcome made no difference – they could do no more to me and I could see new and fresh opportunities abroad. Don Cargill had been my saviour and provided me with the absolute assurance that I needed.

(They concluded that I had assaulted the child and I would be reinstated subject to a written warning. This decision made no sense; assault constitutes gross misconduct and demands dismissal.)

I am alive: My final hearing had been on 15 July 2008 but I’d already been laying foundations for my new life in North Spain. (‘Success’ had been my last blog entry prior to my hearing and indeed for some time afterwards – I had purpose again and little time ! If you look at my picture in that entry, the background is my beach !)

I had found the courage to Handle Stress Like A Dog and walked away !

Less than a year later, to the exact day of my blog entry of 13 February 2008, I had started the process of moving to Spain as I set sail onboard ‘The Pride Of Bilbao’.

New beginnings: I enjoy a life that is rich, rewarding and full. Not easy and very hard at times but it is new, fresh, fun and challenging. I now speak Spanish; English language in this area is rare.

I started by teaching extra-curricular English in a state primary school after gaining TEFL qualifications. I soon chose to ‘retire’ from mainstream education to set-up my own language school.

My future: Everyday, my partner and I walk on the beach with our dog before teaching. My home has views over the Bay of Biscay and is situated in a wonderful and loving community of Spanish villagers.

Andrew Kidd Duke Street Primary School Chorley Jane Watts
Andrew Kidd Duke Street Primary School Chorley Jane Watts
I often stop to consider the hand of fate and destiny – the false allegation that changed my life forever. I am no longer the same reception teacher who was crucified by a Chorley school and its heartless management. I loved my job at Duke Street and working with children was all that I ever wanted. Yet if these events had never occurred, I would be still working there; worrying about Tilas / Wilfs and Ofsted whilst suffering the bullish management of Andrew Kidd, the head teacher.

Tilas / Wilfs are components of Andrew Kidd’s interpretation of Objective Led Planning; better known as Management By Objective; a fundamental concept conceived by Peter Drucker. The process is no substitute for good management and can be an utter waste of time if the rationale is not understood or appreciated.

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker (1909-2005)
Andrew Kidd Duke Street Primary School Chorley Jane Watts
It would be arrogant of me to boast that my life is better here in Spain. In the end we all lose something as a consequence of cases such as mine.

I am effectively exiled from my home and roots in the UK and not through choice. Worse is the fact that I lost my faith, belief and trust in society and its rules. “Tell the truth and all will be right” but it isn’t when people are so morally weak with an insatiable desire to believe the worst; rushing into outcry, mob mentality and mob rule.

So many of my colleagues, who I’d worked with for 10 years or more, wanted to believe the worst – never stopping to consider their intimate working knowledge of my personal values and behaviour … they tried to take my life based on fear, lies, deceit and self interest … the horror is that these same people work with children everyday, implanting their own interpretation of social responsibilty and behaviour into the minds of our children !

It is who we are and how we live that is the vital element. My life and living is my reward. I love everyday and laugh. I touch the hearts and minds of so many – children and adults. I hope that I enrich their lives through my humour, sense of fun and can share my own inspirations.



He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction.


Elisabeth Anne “Bessie” Anderson Stanley (1904)



I know that I have achieved my wish, my goal and my success – never again will I allow others to take from me what is not theirs to take !

This is the final blog entry – it is time for closure, time to stop the fight and time to let go.

This nightmare world of false allegations will never be solved until someone appreciates that the ‘lunatics are in charge of the asylum’.

Teachers deserve to be treated well and supported for they influence the destiny of our children and our children’s children.

Teachers MUST be represented and protected, not by unions, but by new managerial systems providing access to a range of support structures including human resource.

Allegations must be addressed fairly, quickly and independently - ‘Natural Justice’; the police have the IPCC – bring all agencies who work with children under this same umbrella. To truly protect the teacher, body worn cameras must become their first line defence.



“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr. (1953–1968))
I am innocent of the allegation – everyone that matters to me knows that it is true – the implication that follows is that those involved with my case committed the worst crime imaginable.



28 September 2012
courtesy BBC Radio 5 Live - Chris Warburton
27 January 2011
courtesy BBC Radio 4 ‘The Today Programme’
16 November 2010 - Helen Denton
courtesy BBC Radio Lancashire - Graham Liver

To correct Radio Lancashire’s report : I had been sacked in March 2008 and when I was reinstated in July 2008, I was actually so ill due to the stress of the case that I had been signed-off as medically unfit. The school then proceeded with ill health dismissal procedures and I was finally sacked again in April 2009 for non-attendance. (Your employer makes you ill - offers no help or support and sacks you for being ill !)

03 March 2009 - Julian O'Halloran
courtesy BBC Radio 4 - File on 4
31 October 2007
courtesy HM Police - Leyland, Preston


So, my life today is good; actually better than I could ever have dared to believe and is very much like being reborn.

Weather permitting, when I and my class do Tai Chi on the beach on Friday morning, people comment that I smile a lot – it’s because I know that Duke Street School will be in Good News Assembly … no guesses where I’d rather be !



Thoughts :

“Fools take a knife and stab people in the back. The wise take a knife, cut the cord, and set themselves free from the fools.”

“No need for revenge. Just sit back and wait. Those who hurt you will eventually screw up themselves and if you’re lucky, God will let you watch.”



Santander - Live
(Courtesy Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria)



Andrew Kidd Duke Street Primary School Chorley Jane Watts Christmas Eve At Home

Andrew Kidd Duke Street Primary School Chorley Jane Watts Christmas Present
My first lefthand drive car - a new Audi TTS

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

The Visitor


Claims of physical abuse against pupils on the rise

12:56 Friday 24 July 2009

Jane Watts’s 30-year teaching career was left in tatters after she was accused of hitting a five-year-old girl during a lesson at a Chorley school.

With teaching unions warning the number of claims of physical abuse against pupils is on the rise, the LEP investigates the impact on those inside the profession

“It was absolutely horrendous. I was warned that I might be handcuffed and put in a cell, I was fingerprinted, had my DNA taken and photographed.”

“I had been on the senior management team and had an unblemished record. I was terrified.”

Those are the words of 52-year-old Chorley teacher Jane Watts describing her horror as she was arrested at Leyland Police Station for allegedly assaulting a five-year-old girl in her class at Duke Street Primary School in September 2007.

She went on to face a police investigation but was never charged after the force dropped the case. Nonetheless, she was suspended and sacked for “gross misconduct”.

She was reinstated after an appeal but the school stood by its ruling of gross misconduct and she was sacked again in April this year after being too ill to return to the school due to the stress and anxiety it would have caused.

The mum-of-one, who lives in Astley Village, says: “The police said there was no case to answer but the school decided to take it into their own hands.”

“Imagine what it’s like to be called into the headteacher’s office for him to say you are suspended as you have assaulted a pupil – from then on your life deteriorates.”

“The day I was arrested was the worst day of my life. I have lived in Chorley for over 20 years but did not want to leave the house or go into town. I was aware that everyone was going to be talking about it.”

The reception class teacher says the complaint was made by a teaching assistant who claimed she slapped a five-year-old girl hard on the hand.

Mrs Watts says she has always denied the allegation, insisting she hit a table, not a child.

After having her appeal dismissed by the school, she has tried to clear her name by becoming the first teacher in the country to take a lie detector test to prove her innocence.

She hired renowned polygraph examiner Don Cargill – known for appearances on the Trisha Goddard show – and passed the test but education bosses dismissed the gesture.

She claims to have spent about £25,000 including legal advice in a bid to prove her innocence.

Andrew Kidd, headteacher at Duke Street Primary School, said: “There was a disciplinary hearing at school in March 2008 at which a member of staff was dismissed for assaulting a child, which was witnessed by another member of staff.”

“A subsequent appeal hearing decided that while the original finding of misconduct was correct, the decision to dismiss should be reduced to final written warning and at that point the member of staff was invited to return to work in July 2008.”

“However the staff member did not return to work and was dismissed by the governors in May 2009 on grounds of non-attendance.”

For the full feature, see Friday’s Lancashire Evening Post.

Lancashire Evening Post


Chorley teacher fights to clear name

11:03 Wednesday 22 July 2009

A Chorley teacher who was accused of slapping a five-year-old pupil has become the first teacher in the country to take a lie detector test to try and clear her name.

Jane Watts, 52, said her 30-year teaching career was left in tatters when a youngster accused her of hitting her on the hand during a lesson at Duke Street Primary School in 2007.

Although a police investigation found she had no case to answer, she was sacked for gross misconduct.

Now, the former teacher, who has spent more than £25,000 trying to clear her name, is calling for more protection for teachers.

She said: “This cannot be allowed to happen to anyone ever again. My life has been a living hell for two years because of this and it is still going on. Just talking about it sends me cold.”

“Teachers in this position are totally isolated. We have no-one and nowhere to go and that has to change.”

“This ordeal has robbed me of two years of my life and my career.”

The mother-of-one, who lives in Astley Village, was immediately suspended when the pupil made the accusation in September 2007.

She was arrested and had to attend Leyland Police Station where she was photographed, fingerprinted and had to give DNA samples.

She said: “It was not just humiliating, it was terrifying. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

Despite Mrs Watts being cleared by the police, Duke Street Primary School launched its own investigation and upheld the complaint. She was sacked in March 2008.

In a bid to clear her name, she hired renowned polygraph examiner Don Cargill – known for appearances on the Trisha Goddard show – to perform a lie detector test.

The test came back clear, but the school said it was unreliable. At an appeal hearing in July 2008, the teacher was reinstated with her punishment reduced – although the school still maintained she hit the child.

Mrs Watts maintains she is innocent.

Due to the stress of the ordeal, she has not been able to return to the school. She applied for early retirement but it was refused and she was sacked for non-attendance in 2009.

Looking back over the past two years, she said: “I don’t know how I’ve survived. Without the support of my family I would have lost it. There were days when I couldn’t get out of bed and it took months for me to go into town.”

The ordeal has also taken a massive financial toll on the family.

Mrs Watts added: “At one point I almost lost my house. I spent all my life savings just to stay afloat and almost had to sell my house.”

She now writes an online blog with help and advice for other teachers who feel they have nowhere to turn.

She has also used her experiences to write a book and has campaigned for changes in the law and policies relating to allegations against teachers.

Earlier this month, the Children, Schools and Families Select Committee in Parliament looked at Mrs Watts’ case, and others, and said new guidelines should be published to help headteachers deal with false allegations against their staff.

Mrs Watts said: “It finally seems like people are talking about the issue. I will not rest until I get changes made.

“It’s not about my sob story. It is about making sure nobody else has to go through what me and my family have been through.

“I’m determined to make sure the right changes are made. It’s what has kept me going.”

Andrew Kidd, Duke Street Primary headteacher, said: “There was a disciplinary hearing in March 2008 at which a member of staff was dismissed for assaulting a child, which was witnessed by another member of staff.”

“A subsequent appeal hearing decided that while the original finding of misconduct was correct, the decision to dismiss should be reduced to final written warning and at that point the member of staff was invited to return to work in July 2008.”

“However, the staff member did not return to work and was dismissed by the governors in May 2009 on grounds of non-attendance.”

Visitors