'Dishonest' head gets 2-year ban for pocketing #163;5k destined for school funds

7th May 2010 at 01:00
'Outstanding' career in ruins after he kept money he earned as school improvement partner for himself

A headteacher has been banned from the profession for two years after being caught siphoning off money that should have gone to his school.

Gwilym Jones has been criticised by the General Teaching Council for England (GTC) for "dishonesty" after taking more than #163;5,000, including money for working as an adviser to other schools.

Mr Jones, formerly head of Fazakerley Primary in Liverpool, transferred money he earned as a school improvement partner (SIP) to a consultancy in which he had a "significant" financial stake, the GTC said. The funds should have been paid into his school accounts, with decisions about any payment to Mr Jones left to governors.

He also failed to get their permission to change the pay-roll, which resulted in him getting more money, and improperly claimed for mileage costs.

The GTC found that Fazakerley's governors were probably unaware of Mr Jones' work as a SIP for Rochdale and Blackburn and Darwen councils.

Mr Jones felt he was entitled to some "personal benefit" for this work. He was told that he had to reach an agreement with his governors about any extra payments and arranged for the payroll to be changed, claiming in two letters that the governing body had approved the arrangement.

"We conclude that those statements were inaccurate and dishonestly made and led to the diversion of the monies itemised to your personal benefit," the GTC said.

"We are satisfied that these actions were dishonest by the standards of reasonable and honest people.

"You deliberately lied in those letters and obtained a significant monetary benefit as a consequence."

The allegations cover three years from the beginning of 2006 to the end of 2008.

As a school improvement partner, Mr Jones held a position of "considerable trust and responsibility", the GTC noted.

"You have produced evidence of an outstanding career in teaching and the Ofsted reports speak highly of your achievements and qualities," it said. "We have given you credit for your record in teaching."

But it added: "Members of the profession are seen as role models by the public and are properly expected to apply high standards of behaviour and integrity. Against that yardstick you fell very short."

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