Head spent funds on trip to swanky eatery

29th April 2011 at 01:00
A primary headteacher who used school funds to buy a meal at a top London restaurant, jewellery and museum tickets has been suspended from the profession for six months.

A primary headteacher who used school funds to buy a meal at a top London restaurant, jewellery and museum tickets has been suspended from the profession for six months.

Richard Thomas also failed to ensure all staff had Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks and to complete necessary financial and legal paperwork, a General Teaching Council for England (GTC) panel heard.

Mr Thomas, head of Tollerton Primary in Nottingham, was supposed to use the school debit card "for the benefit of pupils".

But he used it to pay for his own meal in central London restaurant Simpsons (pictured), which is owned by and adjacent to the Savoy Hotel, where main courses cost up to pound;30.

Mr Thomas also used school funds to pay for a ticket to a museum exhibition and to make a contribution to a leaving present of jewellery for a member of staff.

In addition, Mr Thomas was found guilty of failing to comply with guidance on the "employment status of self-employed contractors", not completing an employment assessment form and not submitting all VAT receipts.

Ofsted inspectors discovered that Mr Thomas had failed to ensure that a teaching assistant and two midday supervisors had had CRB checks. Mr Thomas had submitted, "but not completed" the forms.

Mr Thomas bought a piano for his personal use through an instrument- purchasing scheme for pupils, which meant he did not pay VAT. He paid the tax when the "error" was pointed out.

GTC panel chairman Derek Johns said he should have "exercised greater care".

Mr Thomas also admitted not carrying putting a staffroom extension out to tender because he "did not really understand" the process, or that it should be followed.

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