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Vice-principal convicted of defrauding school escapes ban

'Exemplary' teacher's fraud at 'less serious end' of offences, panel says

Court

A vice-principal who defrauded his school of more than £360 has been spared a ban from teaching.

Alan Stevens, who taught at Sawtry Community College – now known as Sawtry Village Academy – in Cambridgeshire until 2015, was in 2017 convicted at Peterborough Crown Court after pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by abuse of position.

An Education Funding Agency investigation found he had over four years claimed expenses from a company linked to the college for the purchase of personal items totalling £364.59.

Mr Stevens was given a 24-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to perform 80 hours of unpaid work.  

A professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency found in its ruling that he had been dishonest but said in its ruling that it took into account his exemplary record as a teacher, commitment to the profession and local status as a “pillar of the community”.

Mitigating factors were his previous good record, guilty plea and remorse, though the panel noted there was no evidence he acted under duress.

The panel said it would not recommend any prohibition order since “the nature and severity of the behaviour was at the less serious end of the possible spectrum”, while publication of details of the case “was sufficient to send an appropriate message to the teacher, as to the standards of behaviour that are not acceptable”.

This was agreed by DfE decision maker Alan Meyrick.

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