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Headteacher overpaid his wife

A headteacher who overpaid his supply teacher wife has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by England's General Teaching Council.

Robert Wilson, formerly head of West Park primary in Hartlepool, was given a conditional registration order and banned from being a head for two years.

The GTC heard that he regularly authorised pay for days that his wife, Ann, had not worked. He altered the claim form system to hide his actions.

No details of how much money was involved were revealed but Amanda Hall, the deputy head, said that in one month Mrs Wilson claimed for double the number of days that she had worked as a special needs supply teacher.

In June 2001 Mrs Hall noticed that Mrs Wilson's claims did not tally. "I discussed the situation with Mrs Wilson who told me she sometimes got paid for working from home," Mrs Hall said.

Mrs Hall kept a record of Mrs Wilson's attendance during September 2001 and found claims for 16 days when she had only noted eight.

"I was reluctant to go and see Mr Wilson because I respect him as a head,"

said Mrs Hall. But in early October she arranged a meeting. "Mr Wilson's reaction was that there was clearly a mistake, and days may have been carried over from the holidays," she said. He said that he would sort it out.

Mrs Hall noticed further discrepancies in April 2002, including claims for days when the school had been closed and raised the matter with Mr Wilson again. For a few months, his wife's claims corresponded to the days she had worked but further discrepancies emerged in November.

Mrs Hall said: "Mr Wilson changed the system. Claim forms went straight to him and then Mrs Wilson's second claim form was added. There was no record of the second claim form given to the school. I was very cross, and felt that Mr Wilson was trying to hide the extra claims."

She complained in writing and arranged a formal meeting with Mr Wilson, who informed the school's chairman of governors and an investigation was launched. Mr Wilson was suspended in March 2003 and later resigned.

He neither attended, nor was represented at last week's GTC hearing.

Valerie Dennis, chair of the GTC committee, said: "At no stage did Mr Wilson investigate the complaints. Mr Wilson did not follow school procedure and has shown no remorse."

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