An Ofsted inspector with more than three years' experience has been suspended after it emerged that she was reprimanded by the General Teaching Council for England (GTC) for unacceptable professional conduct when she was a primary head.
Millicent Anne Sadler received a two-year reprimand from the GTC in May 2008 in relation to her treatment of two special-needs pupils. But CfBT, the contractor that employed her as an inspector, continued to send her to schools because it was unaware of her record until November last year.
It is not clear how many primaries Mrs Sadler inspected, but her employers say she has played a role in passing judgment on at least nine in the last six months.
Ofsted has said that a GTC reprimand would not automatically be a bar to employment as an inspector.
CfBT has now suspended the former head, who resigned from her job at St Alban's Primary School in Macclesfeld in 2005 following allegations surrounding her behaviour towards two special-needs children.
Mrs Sadler has been employed since December 2006 by CfBT inspection services, a private company employed by Ofsted, inspecting schools across the north of England.
CfBT confirmed to The TES that the inspector had been suspended while an investigation takes place.
The company said that at the time she was taken on, she had not yet received the rebuke from the GTC, which will lie on her file until May this year.
During her GTC disciplinary hearing, Mrs Sadler said that the stress of a parent's complaint against her had make her "physically sick".
The head, who had previously held a clean record, denied all wrongdoing.
The 50-year-old was found to have failed to listen to the advice of colleagues in relation to the induction of a child with Down's syndrome.
She also "exhibited demeaning behaviour towards a parent" and "failed to maintain confidentiality about a child", the GTC said.
A single allegation, relating to eight complaints between 2001 and 2005, was found proved by the GTC.
Several further complaints were dismissed, including a claim that Mrs Sadler yelled at a boy with Down's syndrome and told a child with handwriting deficiency he was "lazy and a daydreamer".
In its report, the GTC panel said it had received many references in favour of Mrs Sadler, including from the parents of pupils with special needs.
But it added: "However, the matters we have found proved are serious and led to the removal of one pupil and the decision that a second pupil would not transfer to the primary school."
An Ofsted spokesman said: "To meet the level of rigour required by Ofsted, contractors' recruiting must cover enhanced CRB disclosure, employers' references to corroborate information given by the applicants, disclosure of convictions or criminal offences in any country, periods of probation and discharges or actions pending."