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Teacher sacked over behaviour with dads reunites with husband

A primary school teacher sacked over a sexual fling with a pupil’s father and a string of ‘inappropriate relationships’ with other dads is back with her husband.

Ann Brenen, 42, scandalised Westoe Crown Primary School in South Shields, South Tyneside, with colleagues raising concern over her behaviour with fathers of children at the school.

Mrs Brenen had told other teachers and teaching assistants that her marriage to husband Paul was on the rocks and it was after she left him in February 2016 that she began a string of concerning relationships with the fathers.

She was fired from the school as a result but took her case to an unsuccessful employment tribunal where the details of her actions were laid bare.

In its findings of fact the tribunal panel said: ‘The claimant left the family house in February half term 2016.

‘She told Mr Price, the headteacher, that she was having problems at home.

‘In her evidence to the tribunal, the claimant said she started a sexual relationship with the father of pupil F, a child at the school.

‘The claimant did not disclose that relationship to the headteacher. She said she did not do so because it only lasted a short time.

‘She said that with hindsight she acknowledged that the relationship was inappropriate, but says that her mental impairment affected her judgement at that time.

‘A number of the claimant’s colleagues indicated that they were aware that there were rumours circulating that the claimant was in a relationship with the father pupil F. 

‘A teaching assistant said that she saw the claimant’s car parked outside pupil F’s father house one morning.

She said that she asked the claimant about that and the claimant implied to her that the relationship was physical.’

Despite admitting her infidelity in the Tyneside tribunal hearing, Mrs Brenen appears to have been forgiven by Paul Brenen, 41, her second husband, who says they are ‘happily married’.

Mr Brenen, a former soldier who served with a locally affiliated regiment of the Light Infantry, stood as an independent councillor for the Westoe ward on South Tyneside Council earlier this year.

As part of his campaigning he posted: ‘I am a happily married family man with two daughters and I want the very best we can achieve for the ward and the town.’ 

Asked to comment, he said: ‘We’d rather not talk about this.’ 

Mr Brenen, a former Unite union rep who now runs a pet service, has posted pictures on social media with his wife and family in recent weeks.

Mrs Brenen was sacked for gross misconduct in 2018 amid concerns from parents and teachers that she was not properly safeguarding children.

An online profile on TutorFair suggests she is now working as a £30-an-hour private tutor in the South Shields area, and boasts of her ‘professional rapport with pupils and parents’.

After separating from her husband, Mrs Brenen, who started working at Westoe Crown in 2004, formed a brief relationship with one pupil’s dad after meeting him at a parents evening.

The complaints against her related to the fathers of four pupils, identified in the tribunal only as Pupils D, E, F and G.

The panel ruled she was guilty of a ‘serious breach of the standards expected’ of a senior teacher and found against her.

They found they had no jurisdiction to rule on her claim of disability discrimination, saying she was unfairly treated whilst suffering depression.

And they dismissed claims of unfair dismissal and breach of contract wrongful dismissal.

The tribunal judgment stated: ‘In her evidence to the tribunal, she said she started a sexual relationship with the father of pupil F, a child at her school.

 ‘The claimant did not disclose that relationship to the head teacher. She said she did not do so because it only lasted a short time.

‘The claimant’s inability to recognise safeguarding issues was clearly a serious matter for the respondent. Her actions amounted to gross misconduct.’ 

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