When a kebab shop's more appetising than a day in class

1st October 2010 at 01:00

A Glasgow modern studies and French teacher has been reprimanded for working in a kebab shop while claiming sick pay.

Abdelhak Kennar had been signed off from Springburn Academy for months when his school was contacted by a man claiming to have seen the teacher at the takeaway, the disciplinary sub-committee of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) has heard.

In early 2009, deputy headteacher Gordon Macfarlane took three calls from the man, who would only give his name as "Mr Adam". The caller claimed Mr Kennar had been seen working in the Western Barbecue on Great Western Road, Glasgow.

Mr Kennar, 48, had been off work since autumn 2008 and was supposedly recuperating from depression. The committee saw documents confirming his pay while off sick, which totalled #163;2,715.25 for 22 days.

Although it was known that his family had a takeaway business, Mr Kennar had not indicated to the school that he intended to work there.

Months after his initial call, "Mr Adam" sent photos to headteacher Liz Ervine. Mr Macfarlane, who has since retired, told the sub-committee they showed Mr Kennar at the counter of a takeaway, with kebab meat in the background.

He and Mrs Ervine called a meeting on April 2, 2009. Mr Kennar was "perfectly open" about working in the family business while off sick. He said he wanted to support his wife and could not face being in his house all the time.

He denied the GTCS charge of working at the Western Barbecue between January and March 2009, while signed off and claiming occupational sick pay. But he did not appear at this week's hearing and had no legal representative.

GTCS solicitor Paul Marshall said he was not submitting that Mr Kennar, who was sacked by Glasgow City Council, had broken the law or committed fraud, but that his conduct fell short of that expected of teachers.

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