Sun, sea and sand land head in hot water

18th April 2008 at 01:00
A headteacher who called in sick but was then spotted by a colleague at the airport queuing for a flight to Tenerife has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by England's General Teaching Council.

Lesley Tidy, 53, from Leeds was head of Thackley Primary School in Bradford for six years before being sacked. She had also worked as an Ofsted inspector and primary strategy consultant leader.

The tribunal in Birmingham placed her under a conditional registration order, stopping her from working as a head until she has undergone leadership training.

Mrs Tidy certified herself as unfit for work on a day when she was supposed to be leading teacher training; she instructed her bursar not to reveal the details to the chair of governors.

After hearing that her colleagues were angry to discover she had been seen at the airport, she told them she had visited her surrogate mother who was unwell.

Tina Denham, the school's bursar, told the hearing: "She definitely mentioned to me that she was going on holiday; she was excited about it.

"She rang me at the airport and said she was having a nice time and had ended up by chance meeting a lunchtime supervisor.

"Whilst on holiday she texted me saying 'sun, sea and sand - what more could a girl want?'"

Mrs Tidy did not attend the hearing, but sent a letter denying the accusations. "I found myself victim of gossip, innuendo and professional jealousy," she wrote.

Judy Moorhouse, chair of the committee, said: "On the basis that Mrs Tidy was fit enough to travel to Tenerife, she was certainly fit enough to attend school."

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