A teacher has won a claim of workplace discrimination and unfair dismissal against her former employer, who she alleged sacked her because she became pregnant.

Rebecca Raven, 32, had been working as an art teacher at Howell’s School in Denbigh, North Wales, since October 2008.

However, after becoming pregnant and applying for maternity leave in May of last year, the independent girls’ school told her she would have to leave at the end of the summer term.

Ms Raven was then informed that she could apply for a part-time post as an art teacher, but when she applied she was not appointed, said her union the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL).

Speaking to the Press Association, Ms Raven recounted her shock when she was first told of her dismissal.

“I couldn’t believe it when the school told me I was being dismissed. I had loved working with the girls and really enjoyed my time at the school. It had been such a lovely school that two of my children went there too,” she said.

The case was taken to an employment tribunal in Shrewsbury, which yesterday (June 6th) ruled that the school was guilty of unfair dismissal under Section 99 of the Employment Rights Act and of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.

Dr Philip Dixon, director of ATL Cymru, said: “The supreme irony of a girls’ school dismissing a teacher when she became pregnant almost beggars belief.

“This is an appalling example to give to pupils who are, hopefully, being educated to be young, independent women with fulfilling careers and lives.”

A spokesperson for Howell’s School said that the school was “disappointed” by the tribunal’s decision and is considering an appeal.

“As an all-girls school we have many female teachers. We are therefore experienced at dealing with staff pregnancies and as an employer we continue to operate within our equal opportunities policies,” they added.