A languages teacher who had been claiming extra cash from parents for school trips has been banned from the classroom. In a disciplinary hearing undertaken by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) in October 2018, it was revealed that the teacher had asked parents for additional ‘behaviour deposits’ by charging an extra 20 euros each, in order for a pupil to board the coach.
The TRA’s professional conduct panel concluded that this teacher's conduct "fell short of the expected standards of the profession". This teacher has been banned from teaching in the UK indefinitely.
Teacher misconduct: regulating the profession
Employers of teachers need to be aware of the procedure with regards to disciplining a teacher.
- A school has the power to suspend any employee from their school on full pay, providing this is in accordance with the employees’ contract.
- The employee must be provided with all the evidence in advance of any hearing, such as complaints or allegations made against them.
- Notice must be given to an employee attending a disciplinary hearing and the employee has a right to be accompanied by a union representative or colleague.
- Employees who are dismissed should be offered the right of appeal.
Employers of teachers (including agencies) must also make a judgement about whether an allegation of teacher misconduct is sufficiently serious to refer the matter to the TRA, who are responsible for determining whether a teacher should be prohibited entirely from teaching work. Where an employer is in any doubt, a referral should be made.
When employers are deciding whether to make a referral regarding the teacher concerned, they should consider whether there has been:
- unacceptable professional conduct;
- conduct that may bring the profession in disrepute; or
- a conviction, at any time of a relevant offence.
A prohibition order will likely be appropriate when the behaviour of the employee concerned has been fundamentally incompatible with being a teacher.
Once a referral is made, the TRA will make a decision regarding whether to impose a prohibition order, which will ban the person involved from teaching. A teacher has 28 days to appeal against a prohibition order to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court.
If you have any queries regarding how to handle a situation of teacher misconduct, please contact us.