Re-instate Dee Topping! No more bullying!

27 November 2012

More than 100 staff, students and members of the community held a noisy and angry protest on Tuesday outside CONEL college in Tottenham against the sacking of UCU member Dee Topping.

Dee is a teaching assistant working with 14-16 year olds at CONEL. She has been sacked because students on a trip to Thorpe Park were accused of smoking dope, although no drugs were found on them, and the college did not ask Thorpe Park staff for evidence or challenge Thorpe Park for searching youngsters without parental consent. The college claim Dee should have predicted and prevented this incident, even though she was not in charge. We believe that Dee is taking the rap for management failings.


College management talk about ‘cleansing’ the staff body and are operating to create a cheaper, more expendable and compliant workforce: where ever possible replacing permanent staff with hourly-paid and agency staff, and cranking up the use of capability and disciplinary procedures to get rid of staff without having to pay redundancy. This strategy can only damage the college, as well as us as individuals: Dee is a highly-respected support teacher, and makes a massive difference to the life-chances of her students. Treating her so unfairly damages all staff. We are not the enemy – we are the college community.


UCU at CONEL are organising protests in support of Dee every Tuesday until she is re-instated, 12.45pm – 1.30pm, outside the college in Tottenham High Road. Please come and give your support – we need as many people there as possible to prevent reprisals against union members taking action for Dee.

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