Favourite teacher sent back to USA - because she ticked wrong box
PUBLISHED: 12:12 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 07 September 2010
By Susanna Wilkey A MUCH-LOVED Hampstead schoolteacher was forced to quit her job and make an expensive 8,000-mile round trip because she filled out a visa form incorrectly. Pupils and parents were devastated when, in the middle of term, South Hampstead
By Susanna Wilkey
A MUCH-LOVED Hampstead schoolteacher was forced to quit her job and make an expensive 8,000-mile round trip because she filled out a visa form incorrectly.
Pupils and parents were devastated when, in the middle of term, South Hampstead High School geography teacher Emily Bartlow was ordered by the Home Office to stop working and leave the country.
The American teacher, who had simply ticked the wrong box on her visa application, was told she had no right to work and had to fly back across the Atlantic.
Having spent a fortnight in the US, she has now filled in a new form and is vowing to return to Hampstead to resume her successful teaching in Maresfield Gardens.
One parent angry her daughter's education has been disrupted, Veronica Ford, said: "It is all a bit of a scandal and my daughter is really upset.
"She couldn't wait to have her as a teacher - they all loved her. Common sense is really lacking with the system.
"The whole thing is completely shocking. I was shocked she couldn't appeal it and blown away that she just had to leave.
"It is ridiculous when the country doesn't have enough teachers and shocking that they aren't given any recourse. It is as if they are criminals but she did not know she was doing anything wrong.
"She has commitments here and commitments to the children - there seems to be no common sense to the whole thing. The girls are all taking exams next term and now they have lost someone they rely on.
"She was working, paying tax and she had a life here. They could have at least let her finish the year or term.
"The children are disadvantaged now and the school is one teacher down at a crucial point in the year."
Pupils have now set up a Miss Bartlow Appreciation Society on the internet to share memories of their favourite teacher.
Comments on the Facebook site include: "She was the lovliest person on earth and although she was only here for six months, we still love her.
"She was the happiest person I've ever met. She was always smiling, saying 'hello', her cheerful 'good mornings' and 'how are you's'. She was never upset or angry and was always so nice.
"Her facts of the day - they were so randomly wonderful and although never really very useful - were interesting to know. She was both prom and homecoming queen."
The school's headteacher confirmed the visa fiasco but declined to comment.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: "All applications for entry clearance or to work in the UK are considered on their individual merits, taking into account all evidence provided and in accordance with the immigration rules.
"Those who want to come and work in the UK need the correct entry clearance and permissions."
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