CREDIT: This story was first seen in BBC News
A teacher has been struck off after admitting stealing more than £40,000 from funds given to help children with mental health needs, BBC News reports.
Sharon May, 46, who taught at Irlam and Cadishead College, spent the money on gift vouchers “for her own purposes”, a panel found.
She admitted three counts of fraud at Manchester Crown Court last March and was given a suspended sentence.
A professional conduct panel said the case amounted to “serious dishonesty”.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership professional conduct panel concluded May’s actions had “deprived vulnerable pupils of public monies that had been allocated to enhance their educational needs”.
May, who was also a special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCo), had failed to show respect for the rights of those pupils and abused her position of trust, the panel added.
Trafford Centre vouchers
In October 2014, concerns were raised about the possible misuse of a grant that was given to the college to transform the way mental health support was given to children.
Funds taken from this and 1-2-1 Tuition budgets had been used to buy Trafford Centre vouchers, restaurant vouchers and vouchers for Center Parcs.
In Nov 2014, May then provided information to the local authority about this spending which was “false or misleading”, the panel said.
She resigned on 27 February 2015.
In March last year, May admitted three counts of fraud, between 1 May 2010 and 3 December 2014, at Manchester Crown Court.
She was given a two-year suspended sentence and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
In December last year, the panel found a prohibition order was “both proportionate and appropriate”.
It said that a review period “would not be appropriate” because May had been “responsible for dishonesty committed over several years, involving a very significant amount of public money allocated for the education of vulnerable pupils”.
The 46-year-old was prohibited from teaching indefinitely.