Two special school leaders who failed to report safeguarding concerns about a vulnerable girl to the police or local authority have been banned from teaching.
Kevin Boyle, 61, was headteacher at Oaklands School, in Winsford, Cheshire, while Brendan Maguire, 47, was assistant headteacher and the designated safeguarding lead.
The pair appeared before a panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency last month, and a report of its findings was published today.
The panel found that both men had failed to report a safeguarding concern about a 14-year-old girl to the police or the local authority.
The girl’s mother had told Mr Maguire in January 2015 that her boyfriend had “forced her to undertake a sexual act against her wishes”.
Mr Maguire did not report this to the authorities, despite recording the disclosure as “an allegation of inappropriate sexual coercion” on a form in the same week, and having at least one conversation with the school counsellor about it.
The report says that Mr Boyle also failed to report the disclosure, despite the school counsellor making him aware of it the week after it was made, and despite receiving a copy of the cause for concern form they had completed.
'A cavalier attitude towards safeguarding'
The report says: “We were particularly concerned that Mr Maguire thought that appropriate action was to deal with the matter internally as a pastoral issue rather than refer the matter to the appropriate authority.”
It says Mr Maguire “demonstrated a cavalier attitude to safeguarding policies and procedures”. “He by-passed good safeguarding practice by wrongly applying his own judgment on a clear and significant safeguarding matter,” the report says.
The panel found that while Mr Maguire had a previously good record, he had “not properly accepted responsibility for his actions”, and had not shown “any genuine insight into his own responsibility in relation to this serious incident”.
It recommended that Mr Maguire be banned from teaching, but allowed to ask for the prohibition to be reviewed after five years.
The report says that Mr Boyle was a very experienced headteacher and associate Ofsted inspector who had undergone extensive safeguarding training, and “should have been fully aware of his responsibility to implement and monitor proper safeguarding procedures at the school”.
However, it says he has shown “true regret, remorse and insight into what happened”, and adds: “He has demonstrated real integrity in accepting his shortcomings and addressing how he would ensure they would not recur.”
It recommends that he be banned from teaching, but that “taking into account My Boyle’s level of remorse and insight”, he should be allowed to ask for a review after two years.
Alan Meyrick, who took the final decision on behalf of the education secretary, approved the panel’s recommendations.