Northampton teacher barred from profession for three years

Investigation by Teaching Regulation Agency results in minimum three-year ban

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 12:15 pm
The decision was taken by the Teaching Regulation Agency

A Northampton teacher has been barred from the profession for at least three years following a disciplinary hearing.

Peter Smith 49, was investigated by the Teaching Regulation Agency after he was dismissed from the school after a short period working there.

The inquiry heard that Mr Smith had applied for a job at the school in April 2018 and had declared a conviction in 2014 for harassment, for which he had received a suspended sentence.

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But after an investigation by the school, another matter came to light and the school took the decision to suspend him and then dismiss him in July 2018.

The decision to bar Mr Smith from teaching for a minimum of three years was made at a disciplinary hearing in February.

A report into the decision - published on March 3 - detailed that when Mr Smith applied for the job in 2018, he was upfront with the school about a 2014 conviction for harassment where he received a suspended sentence.

The school employed Mr Smith, but when he presented his documentation on his first day, Abbeyfield School asked for more information. Subsequent inspections of those documents led to him being suspended and dismissed in July 2019.

The report reads: "The school alleged that Mr Smith withheld information surrounding the severity and circumstances of the conviction and failed to disclose information which could impact upon his suitability."

During the hearing, the allegation that Mr Smith withheld information about the conviction were not founded, but the panel did rule that the matter disclosed in the documents amounted "a serious departure" from the standards expected of a teacher.

The panel also ruled he failed to inform the school properly about a disciplinary investigation at a previous school over an incident in 2011.

The report concludes: "The panel finds that the conduct of Mr Smith fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.

"This means that Mr Peter Smith is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England."

The prohibition can be appealed in three years' time.