Mr Bartram was employed by Claverham Community College (“the College”) as a maths teacher. In accordance with the College’s retirement policy in force at the time, he was retired at the end of August 2011 upon reaching the age of 65. He applied to work beyond retirement but this application was refused.

He applied for two vacancies for maths teaching posts in 2011, but was not selected for either.

The first vacancy was to replace Mrs Brooks. Mrs Brooks worked part time on a 0.7 full time equivalent basis, but was almost 60 and would soon become eligible for her pension. Shortly before she starting withdrawing her pension, she successfully applied for another part time position, working 0.4 of the full time equivalent.

The second vacancy was full time to replace Mr Pollard who had given notice of his resignation. His role was similar in all respects to Mr Bartram’s old position. However, after the result of a recruitment and selection exercise, the role was given to another candidate.  

Mr Bartram brought claims for direct age discrimination relating to:

  • not being offered the new part time role which the College offered to Mrs Brooks;
  • not being offered the full time role created by Mr Pollard’s resignation, before external advertising took place;
  • the College’s treatment in comparison with the younger candidates in respect of the full time role; and,
  • the College’s failure to offer him the full-time role after interviews had been completed.

Mr Bartram also brought a claim that he had suffered victimisation as a result of his application to continue working beyond the age of 65.


The Employment Tribunal dismissed all of Mr Bartram’s age discrimination claims.

In relation to the part time role, the Employment Tribunal accepted the College’s contention that Mrs Brooks and Mr Bartram were in the same "age group". Both had attained the age at which teachers normally retire and draw their pensions (60 for a woman and 65 for a man) and the physical ages of 59 and 65 were sufficiently similar to be grouped together. Mr Bartram therefore lacked an appropriate comparator and was unable to show that he was treated differently from another of a different age.

In relation to the full time role, The Employment Tribunal concluded that the external candidate was appointed because of reservations about the Claimant's teaching ability. Age was not a factor and the Employment Tribunal was satisfied that had Mr Bartram been the best candidate, he would have been selected.

The Employment Tribunal also dismissed Mr Bartram’s victimisation claim as it was satisfied that there was no link between the appeal process and the recruitment processes.

The judgment is available here.

Bartram v East Sussex County Council, Claverham Community College, Employment Tribunal case number 3102389/2011