Evans’ solicitor advised that, to save her career, she sign a confidentiality clause, known as a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). She left her job with a payout of £8,000 – half of which went on legal fees – was forbidden to disparage her former employer or acknowledge the existence of the agreement, and a reference was agreed.
The week before the complaint Evans had spoken to academy trust leaders about inadequate funding for pupils with special educational needs at her school, and suggested the leaders had not visited often enough in the past 12 months. If Ofsted asked, she told them, the school could get a worse grade. “After that, they were out to get me. My biggest lesson is to put a complaint in writing – I’ve no proof that’s why I was forced out.”
The nightmare didn’t end when she left. Her former head told other schools he would not re-employ her, and while her solicitor has advised taking him to court, a new school would first have to say the poor reference cost Evans a job offer.