'Sex dungeon' head banned from teaching for life

Head who was jailed for using school funds for sex toys and champagne has been banned from profession

Mark Smulian


A headteacher who used school funds to create a "sex dungeon" alongside his office has been banned for life from the profession.

James Stewart, who was executive principal at Sawtry Village Academy in Cambridgeshire, was convicted of fraud and misconduct in public office for offences between 2011 and 2014, and was sentenced to four years' imprisonment after defrauding the school out of more than £100,000.

School funds were used to furnish a room alongside Stewart’s office with sex toys, rugs and a fridge full of champagne. In December 2017, Cambridgeshire County Council had to spend £2 million to bail out the school after it had fallen into disrepair.

A professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency has now concluded that Stewart should be banned for life from teaching, without the right to apply to have this lifted.

This decision was endorsed by the Department for Education representative, Alan Meyrick.

Headteacher guilty of fraud

The panel noted that Stewart was convicted in September 2016 of "wilful misconduct / wilful neglect to perform duty in a public office", for which he was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, and of fraud by abuse of position for which he was sentenced to four years’ concurrent imprisonment

It said these offences would “seriously affect the public confidence in the teaching profession, given the influence that teachers may have on pupils, parents and others in the community”.

It also took account of the “significant detrimental impact on the financial position of the college and the more lasting damage to the education of its pupils”, resulting from the fraud.

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Mark Smulian

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