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Ban for sick leave teacher who started a second job
9:21am Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
A debt-hit teacher has been banned from the country’s classrooms for “dishonesty”.
Richard Welsh began work at a Bury school whilst on sick leave from a Leeds school and claimed pay from both at the same time, Education Secretary Michael Gove banned 36-year-old Welsh from teaching after finding he was guilty of “unacceptable professional conduct.”
A Teaching Agency disciplinary panel found that Welsh handed in his resignation to Swallow Hill Community School, Leeds, on May 25, 2010, to leave the school’s employment on 31 August, 2010.
However, the panel said he took sick leave between June 21 to August 31, 2010, when he was not suffering from illness.
But he commenced full-time employment at Castlebrook High School in Unsworth on June 28, 2010, while still employed at Swallow Hill, but did not inform either his existing or new employers and as a result received a salary from both Leeds and Bury councils.
His actions only came to light some six months later as a result of discussions between his employers about his pension payments.
The panel’s findings said : “Dishonesty is a clear breach of the standards of conduct expected of teachers in their personal lives. This was not a sudden and unplanned single incident. The evidence is that you conceived what can only be described as a fraud on Education Leeds, in order to boost your income.
“Your statement sets out the stressful circumstances in which you found yourself at the time, including debts which you had incurred.
“We find that the acts of deception in which you engaged were unacceptable conduct and likely to bring the profession into disrepute.”
The findings say Welsh accepted his actions were “disgraceful”, but had asked the panel not to punish him for “doing something under duress and stress which he had never done before or would do again”.
He had argued that the public were under no threat from him and it would be in the public interest to allow him to carry on teaching as he was excellent at his job and simply had a stupid lapse of judgment.
The decision means that Welsh is prohibited from teaching in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.
He has a right of appeal to the High Court.