Huntingdon teacher banned by panel over ‘dishonest’ demands for money

St Peter's School, Huntingdon.

St Peter's School, Huntingdon. - Credit: Archant

A teacher who was found to be dishonestly claiming extra money from parents for school trips has been banned from the profession.

David Malengela had the responsibility for organising overseas trips for pupils at St Peter’s School, in Huntingdon, in his role as a languages teacher.

The 41-year-old asked parents for additional ‘behaviour and boarding deposits’ for a trip to Paris, the Teaching Regulation Agency’s professional conduct panel heard.

He also told parents there were price increases on other trips to France between May and July 2017, but the panel found there was “no evidence to justify the increase in price”.

Mr Malengela wrote to parents to ask for an additional £20 refundable behaviour deposit for the ‘Hotel Bon-Sejour’, the three panel members heard.

He also asked for 25 euros for a security deposit, to be paid to him in cash, despite no such cost being agreed with the finance team at St Peter’s School.

The panel’s disciplinary report concluded his actions were ‘calculated and deliberate’.

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The teacher, who was not present at the hearing, held last month, planned three overseas trips for the 2017 summer term.

The school’s finance team made a number of requests to Mr Malengela for money and pupil numbers, between February and June last year, but he failed to respond.

The report determined that he showed a lack of ‘integrity’ and he was ‘dishonest’ with the school.

The panel said Mr Malengela was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and ‘there was no good reason why he was not able to comply with the requests’. In evidence presented to the panel, Mr Malengela said he had been experiencing issues with his health at the time, as well as “personal difficulties”.

The panel concluded that Mr Malengela should be prohibited from teaching indefinitely, which will prevent him from teaching in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

The panel said that because of the seriousness of the allegations found proved against Mr Malengela, he would not be entitled to appeal for his eligibility to teach to be restored at a later date.

Mr Malengela resigned in May 2017 after St Peter’s School launched an investigation into the incident.

A statement from St Peter’s School said: “An investigation completed by our finance team uncovered serious administration errors when Mr Malengela was managing the school’s trips to Paris, including in some instances requesting additional money which had not been agreed by the school. We immediately reported our concerns to the Teacher Regulation Agency and Cambridgeshire police for further investigations. Mr Malengela subsequently resigned.”

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire police said: “An investigation has been carried out and we want to trace Mr Malengela. However, we believe he is abroad.”