MIKE Fairclough is the former Headteacher of West Rise Junior School.

He resigned in the summer after claiming he was ‘discriminated against, harassed and bullied’ by East Sussex County Council.

Now he has launched a Crowdfunder to help pay his legal costs.

Mr Fairclough is known for being outspoken in his views on education and censorship, and has questioned the need to vaccinate children against Covid-19.

Now he says he has left the school in Langney because of these views.

It has since emerged West Rise was visited by OFSTED. The report was published on September 26 and ‘the quality of education’ and ‘leadership and management’ were rated ‘requires improvement’.

Here is Mike online: “I was the only serving UK headteacher or school principal to have publicly questioned lockdowns, masking kids and the Covid vaccine rollout to children.

My employer (East Sussex County Council)  commissioned three investigations into me for doing so. I expressed my lawful opinions in a moderate and calm manner and within my own time.

I am now taking my employer to the Employment Tribunal for discrimination, harassment, preventing me from making a protected disclosure and constructive dismissal.

The last investigation into me followed a whistleblowing complaint under “Prevent”. Prevent is part of the government’s overall counter-terrorism strategy. I was also reported to the Department for Education Counter Extremism Division. This is because questioning government policy on Covid was regarded as a form of extremism by the complainants. 

I was cleared of all allegations of wrong-doing, in relation to my right to lawful free speech, following three independent investigations. I was also cleared by the Counter Extremism Division. This is because I have a right to lawful free speech within the UK. Nonetheless, my employer said that I could be repeatedly investigated in the future if the same complaint was raised. This is a deliberate attempt to silence ‘disapproved of views’ using the complaints procedure.

All headteachers have a legal and moral duty to safeguard children against harm. This is what I have tried to do when expressing my concerns about government Covid policy. However, my efforts have been stifled by my employer. 

Lawful free speech is the foundation of a healthy democracy. We should encourage debate and lawful free speech on all matters. Particularly when it comes to safeguarding children against harm. The Covid pandemic appears to have hindered open debate and people now self-censor out of fear of reprisals.

My court case is therefore one which I am fighting for everyone within the workplace, regardless of their background, belief or views. Employers should not be emboldened to silence the lawful opinions of those they disagree with.

I have brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal with the help of the Free Speech Union and leading civil liberties barrister Paul Diamond. This case raises substantive issues on freedom of speech and of the State suppressing opposing views. 

Please consider supporting me by contributing whatever you can to towards my legal costs for this case.

You can follow my ongoing case on my X account here.