Sacked teacher banned for life

Court News.
Court News.
  • Alexandra Hayhoe-Smith has been banned from teaching for life
  • The ban comes after her failure to disclose a previous incident when applying for her latest job
  • Her sacking from Shefford in July 2013 for gross misconduct followed an incident in which she allowed a pupil to leave the school with the parent of another pupil

A disgraced teacher who was sacked from a Shefford school for “gross misconduct” has been banned for life from the country’s classrooms.

The ban follows findings by a disciplinary panel that Alexandra Hayhoe-Smith, 32, after being sacked from Shefford Lower School then went on to pull the wool over the eyes of a teachers agency to get on to their books as a supply teacher and worked for them for the better part of a year. Hayhoe-Smith did not attend and was not represented.

The panel have found Miss Hayhoe-Smith’s actions to amount to serious dishonesty. The panel noted that whilst she admitted the facts, Miss Hayhoe-Smith did not admit that those facts amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.

NCTL official, Paul Heathcote

The hearing was told that she failed to reveal what had taken place at Shefford and her dismissal and also lied in her application to Bedford based agency Simply Education Ltd about previous employment at a school at Lindfield in West Sussex.

Hayhoe-Smith admitted to the National Council of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) disciplinary panel that she had failed in her application to Simply Education: to disclose details of previous employers; inaccurately stated she was employed at the West Sussex school between September 2012 and July 2013; failed to disclose serious safeguarding issues which led to her sacking at Shefford; and failed to disclose that she had been dismissed from the Shefford school.

But she denied that the allegations added up to unacceptable professional conduct. However, the panel took the view they did and recommended that she should never be allowed to return to teaching.

Her sacking from Shefford in July 2013 for gross misconduct followed an incident in which she allowed a pupil to leave the school with the parent of another pupil, without the required parental consent and also failed to report the matter to the head teacher.

Around two months later she applied to Simply Education to work as a supply teacher and made no mention of this and lied about the West Sussex school.

The disciplinary findings say she then worked for Simply Education from September 2013 until June 2014 when they were told of her history. After further investigations they dismissed her later in the month.

The panel’s findings say: “The conduct found against Miss Hayhoe-Smith was outside that which could reasonably be tolerated.”

They add: “The panel is satisfied that Miss Hayhoe-Smith is guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.”

In recommending that she should never be allowed to return to teaching they say they are not satisfied that she has “realised the severity of her conduct or has shown any other insight into her actions.”

Imposing the ban on behalf of Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, NCTL official, Paul Heathcote said: “The panel have found Miss Hayhoe-Smith’s actions to amount to serious dishonesty.

“The panel noted that whilst she admitted the facts, Miss Hayhoe-Smith did not admit that those facts amounted to unacceptable professional conduct. Further, other than the initial response to the notice of proceedings and signing the statement of agreed facts, Miss Hayhoe-Smith has not engaged with these proceedings. There is no evidence of insight into the seriousness of her conduct.

“I agree with the panel’s recommendation that the prohibition order should be without the opportunity for an application to be submitted to have it set aside.”

The ban means that she is prohibited from teaching in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

She has the right to appeal to the High Court against the decision.