Head who allegedly hit Wythenshawe pupil with ruler banned from teaching for not disclosing sacking

A ‘dishonest’ head teacher was last week banned indefinitely from teaching after she deliberately withheld a previous dismissal for allegedly bullying staff and abusing a child in a Manchester school.

Lesley Haslam was sacked from Haveley Hey Community School, in Wythenshawe, for gross misconduct in 2010, but did not disclose it when she applied for her new post in Wiltshire in 2013.

It was alleged that Ms Haslam hit a student with a ruler and dragged another down a corridor by his feet – but she denied the allegations and claimed she was the vicim of a ‘witch-hunt’.

Her new employers, Christian Malford CofE Primary School, discovered her chequered past in early 2014 and subsequently suspended her but she resigned the next day.

The National College of Teaching and Leadership panel report said: “She deliberately and knowingly sought to mislead and in doing so acted dishonestly.

“The Panel considers that Ms Haslam’s conduct was extremely serious and fell substantially below the standards to be expected of a teacher.”

The report added: “Her actions led to a number of serious adverse consequences to the management of Malford School and some undoubted disruption to the education of its pupils.”

In both her application form and the accompanying letter Ms Haslam made no reference to her dismissal.

The panel found Ms Haslam deliberately omitted to declare her dismissal and had previously related in an interview that her employment gap was due to her father’s illness.

The General Teaching Council investigation of her conduct in Manchester in 2010 found there was insufficient evidence to start proceedings against her.

The Panel considered mitigating features of this case were Ms Haslam’s previous good history and that when Malford School challenged her over the dismissal she immediately admitted it.

Ms Haslam was barred indefinitely from teaching in any school, Sixth Form College, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

She may apply for the Prohibition Order to be set aside, but not until 19 January 2017, two years from the date of this order at the earliest. 

Image courtesy Juan Carlos Mejia, with thanks.

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