A FORMER York head teacher has been banned from the country’s classrooms for at least two years after being found guilty of maladministration.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has imposed the teaching ban on former Haxby Road Primary School head Mike Schofield, 44, after a disciplinary panel found him guilty of “unacceptable professional conduct”.
The Teaching Agency panel found Mr Schofield was involved in the maladministration and alteration of Key Stage 2 SATS tests in 2011.
The Press reported on the incident at the time and we reported earlier this month that the school has since been placed in special measures by Ofsted and is now under the leadership of an interim head, Jane Golightly.
Mr Schofield resigned last year after an investigation by the Qualification Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) into how the school conducted its maths and English SATS tests. He then took a teaching post in South Yorkshire.
An investigation found that while at Haxby Road, Mr Schofield failed to make test papers secure immediately after completion and prior to collection; left completed papers unattended in his office on one occasion; and removed the test papers from the school premises after pupils had completed their tests.
Changes were made to maths papers after the test and while they were under his responsibility.
After one test, a pupil was called to Mr Schofield’s office to make changes to his paper and he discussed a second pupil’s paper with her after its completion.
Mr Schofield also involved one member of staff and tried to involve another in calling back the second pupil to discuss her paper.
The panel found not proven two additional allegations that Mr Schofield reviewed the completed reading test papers and gave three papers to the Year 6 teacher with the instructions that she was to ask the children to look at their papers again; and that he was responsible for changes being made to maths test papers for a pupil after the completion of her test.
The panel told Mr Schofield: “Your actions constituted misconduct of a serious nature, falling significantly short of behaviour expected of a teacher.
“We do not consider that any reasonable person would consider that such cavalier behaviour in relation to the examination process was acceptable, not least for an experienced head teacher.”
The panel recommended a two year review period. However, it added that the public interest may be served by allowing Mr Schofield to make a contribution to education in the future after “a suitable period of time to further reflect on his failings”.
Mr Gove said: “The public has a proper expectation that teachers will ensure that confidence can be maintained in the public examination system. By his behaviour, Mr Schofield has brought that confidence into serious doubt. It also has the potential to bring the profession into disrepute.”
Mr Schofield is prohibited from teaching in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.
He cannot apply for the Prohibition Order to be set aside until March 2015. If he does he will have to persuade a panel he is fit to return to the classroom.
He has a right of appeal to the High Court within 28 days.
Jill Hodges, assistant director for education at City of York Council, said the maths results for 2011 had been annulled.
She said: “We are pleased that the leadership arrangements that were put in place are moving the school forward after a difficult time for all at the school.”