Disorganised trip leader loses school thousands

22nd November 2002 at 00:00
Warwickshire teacher tells GTC disciplinary hearing that he is no good with money. Adi Bloom reports.

A teacher who misplaced pound;4,750 from school-trip funds has been told that he can continue to teach, provided that he does not handle money.

In a hearing last week, the General Teaching Council for England found that Martyn Glenville had knowingly misrepresented the finances of school trips he had supervised at Alcester high school technology college, in Warwickshire. The former head of modern languages had mislaid cheques submitted by parents for school trips, and then used funds for subsequent excursions to cover gaps in the accounts.

His faulty accounting was discovered when he submitted a summary of finances for a trip to Italy to the headteacher. An official investigation uncovered several uncashed cheques, by then out-of-date, that had been submitted by parents for trips led by Mr Glenville. A request to parents to send new cheques generated little success, resulting in a loss to the school of more than pound;4,000.

Annabelle Guyver, head of Alcester, backed the council's verdict. After the hearing she said: "Martyn Glenville was a satisfactory teacher but, had he stayed at our school, I would not have allowed him to take school trips again, or to handle money."

Mr Glenville resigned from Alcester in September 2001. The GTC is unable to say if he is teaching elsewhere.

He did not attend the hearing, and declined representation. But in a statement by email he said: "I've always been a poor organiser and manager of money. I used to leave cheques and cash in drawers. I've never been taught to keep accounts and found it difficult to do so."

Andrew McConnell, chair of the tribunal, found that Mr Glenville's actions demonstrated "unacceptable and unprofessional conduct". But, he said, it was no reflection of his ability in the classroom.

"He is a competent classroom teacher, and should return to his status of registered teacher. But he should not be in charge of any financial matters until he has taken a relevant course."

While aggrieved that little can be done to address the school's pound;4,000 deficit, Mrs Guyver is satisfied the allegations against Mr Glenville have been upheld.

But, she added, she would have preferred Mr Glenville to have accepted help offered by the school when his mismanagement of the accounts first became evident. "If he had accepted the help offered, this would not have got to the level it did. We were prepared to sit down with him. But he chose to ignore that, so we had to get the auditors in."

GTCappeal fails, 17

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