QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| Robin Zebaida
|- and -
|Secretary of State for Education
Andrew Sharland (instructed by Governmental Legal Department) for the Respondent
Hearing dates: 12th May 2016
Crown Copyright ©
"The Panel will hear an allegation that you are guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and/or conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute in that on the 29th of November 2013 at Isleworth Crown Court you were convicted of the offence of sexual assault, intentionally touching a female, no penetration on the 24th of November 2012 contrary to section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003."
i) That it did have jurisdiction to hear the complaint as the appellant was "a teacher" for the purposes of Section 141 A of the Education Act 2002 and Regulation 2 of the Teachers Disciplinary (England) Regulations 2012.
ii) That the allegation was proven. The Appellant had been found guilty of the offence alleged. The Certificate of Conviction was conclusive proof of this. Such a conviction amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
iii) The panel recommended that the Secretary of State impose a prohibition order and that such an order should be reviewable after a period of 2 years.
"I differ in my view from that of the panel. Mr Zebaida has received a serious conviction for a sexual assault on a person who was just over the age of 15 at the time. I believe that the panel has not taken sufficient account of the public concern that would arise were he to be able to seek to apply for a review period."
i) The jurisdiction of the Respondent to make the prohibition order
ii) The finding that the Appellant's behaviour constituted unprofessional conduct or conduct that may bring the teaching profession into disrepute.
iii) The appropriateness and proportionality of the sanction.
i) Sections 141 B to 141 E apply to a person who is employed or engaged to carry out teaching work ata) A school in Englandb) A sixth form college in EnglandA 16-19 academyc) Relevant youth accommodation in Englandd) Children's home in England
"Investigation of disciplinary cases by the Secretary of State
i) The Secretary of State may investigate a case where an allegation is referred to the Secretary of State that a person to whom this section applies:
a) May be guilty of unacceptable professional conduct or conduct that may bring the teaching profession into disrepute or
b) Has been convicted (at any time) of a relevant offence
ii) Where the Secretary of State finds on an investigation of a case under sub-section one that there is a case to answer, the Secretary of State must decide whether to make a prohibition order in respect of the person"
Question 1: does the Respondent have the jurisdiction to make the prohibition order?
"This appeal is an illustration of the tyranny of language and the importance of ascertaining and giving effect to the intentions of parliament by construing a statue in accordance with the spirit rather than by the letter of the Act."
"However, having regard to the mischief at which the statute was directed, the court had little difficulty in determining that a literal construction does not give effect to the intention of parliament, for such a construction would have the effect that the very persons whom the act was designed to provide an urgent and practical remedy would, in the nature of things, usually be unable to invoke the jurisdiction."
Discussion and Conclusion On Question One
"Would allow those with serious allegations against them to seek to escape the potential consequences of their actions, by resigning or by drifting in and out of the profession."