Wales

Conwy head teacher struck off for misusing school funds

Ysgol Swn Y Don
Image caption Ysgol Swn Y Don was formed when it merged with Ysgol Tan y Marian in 2015

The former head of a Conwy primary school has been struck off after using funds intended for pupils.

Wendy Rowlands was found to have acted dishonestly at a tribunal in Ewloe, Flintshire.

She was sacked from her job at Ysgol Swn y Don in Old Colwyn last year.

During the five-day Education Workforce Council hearing, a disciplinary panel heard allegations about how Ms Rowlands managed school accounts.

This was said to have happened at Ysgol Swn y Don and, from 2005 to 2015, Ysgol Penmaenrhos.

She was head at the latter before it merged with Ysgol Tan y Marian to form Ysgol Swn y Don.

Ms Rowlands denied writing cheques to herself for being in charge of a playgroup set up at Swn y Don, an allegation the panel found to be true, but admitted a string of other spending offences.

These included paying for a staff party - which had the blessing of school governors - and a staff trip to Chester, which did not.

She also bought alcohol with school funds and paid for a hotel room without approval.

The panel found Ms Rowlands was dishonest in the way she tried to withhold financial records from council auditors investigating the school's finances.

Image caption Former head Wendy Rowlands has been struck off for misusing school funds

Ms Rowlands did not attend the hearing in person.

She said her behaviour did not amount to unacceptable professional conduct.

But having found yesterday that she acted dishonestly, the fitness to practise panel today issued a prohibition order removing Ms Rowlands from the teaching register.

The ban takes immediate effect but Ms Rowlands can make an application in two years to be considered for reinstatement.

Committee chairman Robert Newsome said they had considered other sanctions but they felt the prohibition order was necessary given the offences committed.

Nigel Adkins, of the NASUWT, represented Ms Rowlands.

He said he was disappointed the committee had not chosen a more proportionate sanction.

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