12-03-2013

Teacher appeals against 2 year suspension order

The teacher in this case worked for a supply agency and had been complained about to the agency by 2 schools, asking him not to be supplied again. In March 2010 two schools complained that he had gone to the schools in question and behaved in a threatening and inappropriate manner towards teachers, arguing against their stance.

The matter became subject of formal disciplinary proceedings brought by the then General Teaching Council for England, in May 2011 and allegations of unacceptable professional conduct were found proven against him. He was made subject to a 2 year suspension. One of the aggravating features of the case was that the Professional Conduct Committee did not find that he demonstrated any remorse or insight into his actions.

The teacher appealed, during the time that the Teaching Agency took over the functions of the GTCE.

The appeal was dismissed on the basis that there was nothing found to have been unjust or wrong about the way in which the Committee had determined the matter to justify the appeal. The case serves as a reminder that the purpose of disciplinary proceedings is to serve the wider public interest- in terms of the maintaining of the standing of the profession in question and public confidence in it and also the protection of pupils against further repetition of the behaviour. It is always for a disciplinary committee to consider the potential impact of a sanction on the registrant but this is a secondary consideration. It is also important to respect the judgment of a disciplinary committee. It will be a rare case where an appeal court will interfere with that decision unless it is clearly wrong or inappropriate.