Former deputy Principal of Sawtry Academy was involved in ‘depriving pupils of funds’

Sawtry Village Academy.

Sawtry Village Academy. Picture: GOOGLE. - Credit: Archant

The former deputy principal of a secondary school in Sawtry escaped being banned from teaching by a disciplinary panel, despite being involved in “depriving pupils of funds”.

Alan Stevens, was handed a suspended sentence in 2017 for two fraud offences relating to Sawtry Community College (now Sawtry Village Academy), but was not officially sanctioned by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).

Mr Stevens admitted two fraud offences involving £364 of personal items paid for by school funds and was given a 24-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Cambridge Crown Court in September, 2017.

The TRA panel, which sat in February, heard Mr Stevens was involved in fraud which “took place in an education setting and involved depriving pupils of funds, which would of otherwise have been contributed or been available for their education”.

The report, which was only published this month, said: “The panel considered that Mr Stevens’ behaviour in committing the offence could affect the public confidence in the teaching profession given the influence that teachers may have on pupils, parents and the community.”

The panel found that Mr Stevens was involved in “fraud by abuse of position” as deputy principal and that his conduct involved “dishonestly, fraud and breach of trust”.

However, the panel concluded that an order banning him from teaching would not be issued and that the publication of the report into the public domain would serve as sufficient punishment.

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The panel concluded that it “did not consider that Mr Stevens’ actions had a potential impact on the safety or security of pupils”.

It also recognised that he had “a previously good record”. The report added: “As a teacher he was well regarded by his colleagues and former pupils as well as acting as an external ambassador for the college in the local community. Despite facing challenges with his health, he has shown commitment to continuing with his local charity work relevant to his illness.”

The report concluded: “A prohibition order is not proportionate and not in the public interest. A published finding of a conviction of a relevant offence is proportionate enough and in the public interest.”