'Superhead' can continue teaching after being found guilty of professional misconduct

Dudley News: 'Superhead' can continue teaching after being found guilty of professional misconduct 'Superhead' can continue teaching after being found guilty of professional misconduct

A FORMER Netherton ‘superhead’ and her two deputies have been spared a teaching ban, despite all being found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct after fiddling school registers.

Dame Maureen Brennan, who was honoured by the Queen in 2005 for her exceptional performance at Hillcrest School and Community College, appeared in front of the professional conduct panel of the Teaching Agency alongside her two deputies Linda Westwood and Shelley Derham.

Following the hearing, all three women, who still all work together at Barr Beacon Language College in Aldridge, were found to have acted dishonestly by altering pupil attendance records at the Simms Lane school between 2004 and 2007, after inconsistencies came to light following a routine council audit.

However in a decision which has been endorsed by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove, the panel ruled no further action was appropriate and they were all free to continue teaching.

Alan Meyrick, Deputy Director for the Teaching Agency, said: “There is a public interest in declaring and upholding proper standards of conduct. The Panel is conscious that this public hearing has resulted in a finding of unacceptable professional conduct. This is a significant finding and, in the Panel’s view, satisfies the need to publicly declare and uphold proper standards of conduct.

“The Panel is also conscious of the need to maintain public confidence in the teaching profession. However, in the view of the exceptional mitigating circumstances that we have identified it is not necessary, in the public interest, to impose a prohibition order.”

During the hearing the panel heard how registers had been filled in with incorrect codes and on one occasion all pupils were marked as present when the school was closed.

Some disruptive year 11 pupils were also told to stay at home ahead of their GCSES instead of being formally excluded while other pupils were marked as being on study leave, as early as January, with Dame Mo, who was called “an inspirational figure” by Ofsted inspectors in 2011, informing the hearing how this was to give pupils “every advantage” if prospective colleges or employers asked to see their attendance records.

However Councillor Tim Crumpton, cabinet member for children’s services, voiced concerns following the ruling.

He said: “I am concerned someone with such a high profile continues to be in her job. I believe people in her position should be honest at all times.

“A teacher is someone who should be looked up to, how the hell can anybody look up to this person. All the good work the school put in will continue, despite this happening.”

Comments (3)

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6:40pm Tue 11 Dec 12

The Villan says...

I'm sorry but these teachers committed fraud and as such should have been demoted at the very least, but ideally should have been sacked as there is no confidence in them now. They are all tainted by these findings and should do the honourable thing and resign.
I'm sorry but these teachers committed fraud and as such should have been demoted at the very least, but ideally should have been sacked as there is no confidence in them now. They are all tainted by these findings and should do the honourable thing and resign. The Villan
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Sat 15 Dec 12

Clive Incredulous says...

Dishonest, guilty of unacceptable professional conduct. Registers altered, showing false attendance and between 2 & 4% improved exam results. 31 boxes of evidence not looked at.
"There is no doubt that the dishonest conduct continued over a 3 year period and involved a number of pupils."
The leader of Walsall Council who is a governor at Barr Beacon supports dishonest and unprofessional staff.
How can they possibly be allowed to continue in teaching? I want my children to be taught by respectable people, not dishonest unprofessionals. Or is this a case of "You eat one person's foot and they call you a cannibal" defence?
Dishonest, guilty of unacceptable professional conduct. Registers altered, showing false attendance and between 2 & 4% improved exam results. 31 boxes of evidence not looked at. "There is no doubt that the dishonest conduct continued over a 3 year period and involved a number of pupils." The leader of Walsall Council who is a governor at Barr Beacon supports dishonest and unprofessional staff. How can they possibly be allowed to continue in teaching? I want my children to be taught by respectable people, not dishonest unprofessionals. Or is this a case of "You eat one person's foot and they call you a cannibal" defence? Clive Incredulous
  • Score: 0

3:03pm Sat 15 Dec 12

Dudley Bloke says...

I agree with the above, also, considering the teacher was awarded by the queen for her "exceptional performance" at the Hillcrest school and now this as been found out to be lies, I think the award should confiscated.
I agree with the above, also, considering the teacher was awarded by the queen for her "exceptional performance" at the Hillcrest school and now this as been found out to be lies, I think the award should confiscated. Dudley Bloke
  • Score: 0

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