Helensburgh - Head who kept ice cream lolly is struck off

19th March 2010 at 00:00

A well-known former secondary head has been struck off for embezzling more than #163;3,000 of school funds.

Donald Matheson was found to have pocketed the money while head of the Hermitage Academy, in Helensburgh, after charging the owner of an ice cream van #163;10 a day to sell its wares in the playground for nearly 20 months.

Criminal proceedings involving the one-time president of the Headteachers' Association of Scotland were abandoned in 2007 when the van owner could not be traced.

Argyll and Bute Council had not ruled on whether or not he was culpable.

But this week, the disciplinary sub-committee of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) - a panel Mr Matheson had chaired on one occasion - decided there was enough evidence to find him guilty and remove his name from the teaching register.

Ill-health prevented Mr Matheson, 60, from appearing at GTCS headquarters in Edinburgh.

Mr Matheson had explained that the van could provide a regular boost to school funds, office manager Maureen Purves told the hearing.

Every Friday afternoon, someone from the van would bring in #163;50, which staff were instructed to put in an envelope marked for "Mr Matheson: ice cream money".

Ms Purves became concerned when small amounts of money started to go missing. ES.

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