Banned: Head who gave contract to his mother's firm

Head failed to declare family connection and made improper appointments

Mark Smulian


A former headteacher has been banned from teaching for at least two years for improperly awarding contracts, including to firm a run by his mother.

Thomas Marshall, who was head of Birmingham’s Baverstock School – later known as Baverstock Academy – was recommended to be prohibited from teaching by a professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency.

But it decided mitigating factors meant he should be allowed after two years to apply to have this sanction lifted.

The panel said in its findings that the 50-year-old had failed to declare his connection with Stone Educational Consultants and he appointed it to a contract with neither a tender process nor a contract or service level agreement. The school spent £94,680 in all with the company.

It said: “Mr Marshall knew Stone Educational Consultants was an entity run solely by his mother and that this was a connection that he should have declared to governors.”

This non-declaration persisted for three years and the panel considered that amounted to dishonesty.

He also appointed Noel Baker Print and IT Services to work for Baverstock without a contract or service level agreement, though the panel found not proven an allegation that there had been no tender process. The school spent £34,999.61 with the firm.

Three employment cases also came before the panel.

In two of these Mr Marshall did not follow recruitment processes and in the third he additionally failed to declare a family connection, though an allegation of improperly authorised additional payments was found not proven.

Mr Marshall became head of Baverstock in 2010 and the school converted to academy status in 2013.

The panel said it was “satisfied that the conduct of the teacher amounts to misconduct of a serious nature which fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession”.

It said the former head’s conduct merited a prohibition but that there were mitigating factors: “While there has been repeated dishonesty, the panel does not have any evidence to suggest that there were serious consequences as a result of Mr Marshall’s dishonesty, nor is there any evidence of Mr Marshall actively covering up or concealing his dishonesty.

“Due to these findings, the panel does not consider the dishonesty to be so serious that a review period should not be recommended and believes that a review period of two years would be fair and proportionate.

“The panel accepted that Mr Marshall received no financial gain from his dishonesty, and his actions were borne out of an educational need to improve standards. There was evidence that maths results at the school improved.”

Alan Meyrick, who made the final decision on behalf of the education secretary, agreed that Mr Marshall be banned from teaching, but allowed to have the prohibition reviewed after two years.

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Mark Smulian

Latest stories

Back to school, GCSEs, teachers, test 'shambles', Covid-19: LIVE

Coronavirus and schools: LIVE 29/9

A one-stop shop for teachers who want to know what impact the ongoing pandemic will have on their working lives
Tes Reporter 29 Sep 2020