UNION chiefs are furious a teenager has been allowed to return to school after being permanently excluded for bad behaviour during a school disco.
Gareth Kelly will be isolated from his classmates when he returns to Kingsway High School today following an eight week absence from the Newton, Chester, school.
The 15-year-old is to be given one-to-one isolated tuition after being allowed to return by an independent panel who said his expulsion was 'too harsh'.
Although the teenager is looking forward to starting back, the move has angered teachers at the school who believe the action of the headteacher Dr David Gower and governors should have been upheld in the first place.
They have contacted representatives at the National Union of Teachers (NUT) who have written a letter of objection to the union's deputy general secretary in London.
NUT spokesman Andy Kent said: 'Our concern is for the health and safety of our members. An independent panel should not be in a position to overturn a decision made by the leadership of a school.'
Gareth Kelly was excluded with another Year 11 pupil who is awaiting the decision of his independent appeal.
The move came to light earlier this week when an anonymous letter was sent to The Chronicle.
Yesterday Dr Gower said he was acting within the law to protect his staff.
'There was an incident that occurred in September of a violent, aggressive nature which involved prolonged abuse to members of staff at the disco,' he said. 'I decided that both boys should be excluded. They both appealed to the governors and both were turned down.'
Dr Gower said the independent tribunal ruled that Gareth Kelly's behaviour was 'entirely wrong' but said the school's actions were 'harsh'.
Yesterday, he said he would not be asking his existing staff to teach Gareth. 'I am to make arrangements for Gareth to have proper lessons by himself,' said Dr Gower.
Yesterday Gareth Kelly's father Paul said: 'We find it very distressing what has happened. As far as my son is concerned he has been cleared by a lay committee to return to school. He is not a bad lad.'
Kingsway High School teacher and NUT spokesman Campbell Russell added: 'The business of educating young people alone is not an unusual thing to do.'