Our client had retired from teaching but had returned to the classroom on a Supply basis. Some pupils were unhappy with certain teaching approaches and phrases used in the classroom. The School commenced internal disciplinary proceedings but our client resigned because he had decided not to continue in teaching for health reasons. The School made a referral to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) which is involved in regulating the teaching profession and we were instructed to represent our client at the formal hearing in relation to allegations that he was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and/or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute. Our client had been teaching for over 40 years and certain teaching methods, considered through the prism of today’s teaching practice, were not considered by the NCTL to align with the requisite standards. Our client demonstrated insight when he accepted certain allegations against him within the NCTL proceedings and he was mindful that, despite a lack of intention on his part, some pupils had been made to feel uncomfortable.
At the hearing, once the Panel is satisfied that the facts raised within the allegations are made out, it has to consider whether this constitutes unprofessional professional conduct or conduct that could bring the profession into disrepute (Strand 2). The Panel did not find that all of the allegations were made out but, in relation to those that it did, it found that Strand 2 was satisfied. This then left them to consider Mitigation to inform the decision whether or not to recommend that the Secretary of State should issue a Prohibition Order which would prevent our client from teaching at all. Our client was able to present a wealth of positive character testimonials from former pupils/colleagues and teachers who he had inspired to enter the profession.
The Secretary of State decided that it was not appropriate to issue a Prohibition Order. The decision will be published because findings were made at Strand 2 and such publication can, in and of itself, be considered to be a sanction.
Our client was supported by his whole family and the outcome was welcomed by them all. For his part, our client felt an unparalleled sense of relief when he received the Panel’s decision and was very happy that he could re-enter retirement without the proceedings having resulted in him having been banned from the teaching profession.