Yorkshire teacher 'thought racy novel about pupils innovative'

An English teacher who was sacked after she wrote a racy novel about her pupils believed she was "innovative", an employment tribunal heard today.

Leonora Rustamova, 40, who was known as Miss Rusty to her pupils, lost her job after her novel detailed teenage fantasies, violence and a criminal drug den.

Her sacking from Calder High School, near Hebden Bridge, prompted demonstrations by pupils and a campaign by parents to have her reinstated.

The book, which is peppered with expletives, names several teachers and features Year 11 pupils - all real students and referred to as Miss Rusty's favourites.

One pupil is referred to as fantasising and flirting with Mrs Rustamova.

The story - Stop! Don't Read This! - appeared on a self-publishing website before it was removed.

Mrs Rustamova taught for more than 11 years before she lost her job in May 2009. She claims she was unfairly dismissed.

Jean Bradbury, vice chair of governors at the school, told the hearing in Leeds today: "The book brought the school into disrepute, in large part because the book was available in the public arena and the fact the school was named."

She told the hearing, the school governors were concerned about Mrs Rustamova's safeguarding responsibilities.

She added: "We concluded that, far from feeling she had done something wrong, the majority of her evidence was how she was an excellent teacher at the forefront of her profession and she was innovative and

that didn't marry with the concerns we had."

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