If you had spent seven years battling to clear your name, three of them taking on the General Teaching Council, the last thing you might feel like doing is spending more time sitting in teachers' tribunals.

Not so John Davies. The former headteacher of Swinford Manor school in Kent was fully cleared last year after being accused of a range of crimes including - the horror - sending pupils on cross-country runs.

Mr Davies decided he wanted to put his unique experiences to good use. As they say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. So he applied to become a lay member of the GTC's disciplinary panel earlier this year.

Unfortunately, the council recently rejected his application, giving no reason for the snub.

Mr Davies, who now works as a property developer in Guildford, said he has his theories.

"There are plenty of solicitors and accountants out there who are probably better qualified than me. Maybe it's because I wanted to make a complaint about the length of time my tribunal was taking, and I challenged the fact they were self-regulating. Perhaps it's because I went to the press about it afterwards. Perhaps they don't want challenging people."

But Mr Davies, aged 59, says he is not bitter. His property portfolio is worth pound;2.5million.

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