QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
THE ADMINISTRATIVE COURT
B e f o r e :
|THE QUEEN ON THE APPLICATION OF JACQUELINE SMITH||(CLAIMANT)|
|GENERAL TEACHING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND||(DEFENDANT)|
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Miss McCormack appeared on behalf of the Defendant
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"University of East London degree in Maths (BSC) July 1998. Degree in Business Studies July 1997. HND in Business Studies July 1995."
"I am a mathematics graduate and I have been teaching in the mathematics department at Bishop Challoner School since January 2002."
Mrs Smith has always accepted that she wrote the application form in her own hand. She noted that the initials were not in the following form: capital B capital S small c ("B.Sc."). She says that she had intended to write in the relevant passage in the form the letters in capitals "MSC", being initial letters of elements of mathematics that she had studied as part of her Business Studies degree involving mathematics, statistics and computing. She denied therefore at the hearing before the relevant conduct committee that the entry was false. As for the letter, she admitted that the sentence had been written but she denied that it was false. She said at the hearing that it was a letter that had been drafted for her by her course mentor who had adapted a misstatement of her degree qualification previously issued by her university. At all material times it was accepted that she does not have and never has had a degree in mathematics properly so called.
"As regards the facts of the case as set out in the notice of proceedings dated 23 March 2006 we have found these proved. Mrs Smith has accepted that she included the statement that she had a 'degree in mathematics BSc' in her application form dated 28 June 2003 and that in support of that application she stated 'I am a mathematics graduate', both of those statements being factually inaccurate. We believe the facts are established on this basis alone. In the light of Mrs Smith's arguments however we would also wish to indicate our conclusion that the statements are so clear and unambiguous that we do not accept that they can in any way be described as mistaken or accidental."
"These strands in the learning" -
(that is the materials put before the court -)
"as it seems to me, constitute the essential approach to be applied by the High Court on a section 40 appeal. The approach they commend does not emasculate the High Court's role in section 40 appeals: the High Court will correct material errors of fact and of course law and it will exercise a judgment, though distinctly and firmly a secondary judgment, as to the application of the principles to the facts of the case."
"(d) If the facts amount to Unacceptable Professional Conduct, conviction of a Relevant Offence or Serious Professional Incompetence [the committee] -
(i) consider the previous history and character of the Registered Teacher and any mitigating circumstances;
(ii) determine whether to make a Disciplinary Order against the Registered Teacher, and
(iii) specify the terms of any Disciplinary Order."
"1.18 Prohibition .....
This sanction is likely to be appropriate when the behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with being a registered teacher and involves any of the following (this list is not exhaustive):
Serious departure from the Code of Conduct
Seriously affecting the education and/or well being of pupils, either deliberately or through incompetence and particularly where there is continuing risk
Abuse of position/trust (particularly involving vulnerable pupils) or violation of the rights of pupils
Dishonesty (especially where persistent and covered up)
Persistent lack of insight into seriousness of actions or consequences
Evidence of harmful deep-seated personality or attitudinal problems."
"2 We are satisfied that the facts we have found established do amount to unacceptable professional conduct. It is, in our view, clearly unacceptable for a teacher deliberately to make a false statement on an application form particularly when such a statement is clearly material to but not necessarily determinative of the outcome of the application. This gives rise to questions not simply of professional honesty and integrity.
3 The committee, in considering the appropriate disciplinary order to make, has fully considered the lesser sanctions of reprimand, conditional registration order and suspension. It has concluded that none of these are appropriate. This is a serious allegation and the committee, having heard Mrs Smith give her evidence, is clear that she has shown no insight whatsoever into the seriousness of the matter. It was also herself who introduced to the committee the fact that she has subsequently made a further application for a post to which she was appointed and then dismissed following that information coming to light."