Friday 9 December 2016

Primary school head teacher suspended 'after forming relationship with sex offender'

Published 11/10/2016 | 13:44

Holy Family Catholic School in Birmingham CREDIT: GOOGLE STREETVIEW
Holy Family Catholic School in Birmingham CREDIT: GOOGLE STREETVIEW

A primary school head teacher was suspended after she formed a relationship with a convicted sex offender, a teacher misconduct panel heard.

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Lisa Johnson failed to inform Holy Family Catholic School in Small Heath, Birmingham, of her partner's conviction for a child sex offence, it is alleged.

The National College of Teaching and Learning also claim she did not put an end to the relationship even after she learnt of her partner's criminal history.

Miss Johnson was suspended as head teacher last September when it was revealed she was in the relationship. She resigned during the suspension and now faces being barred from the teaching profession altogether.

The panel heard that Miss Johnson did not believe the school should dictate "who she fell in love with" and that she spent 15 years working as a teacher "always putting her work first".

Miss Johnson was not present at the hearing and it was said that she has no intention of teaching again. The panel will decide whether Miss Johnson should be banned from working with children.

Parents at Holy Family Catholic School received a letter from Mrs Mary Lynch, the school's chair of governors, last month telling them about the upcoming hearing, the panel was told.

The letter explained that the school had become aware that Miss Johnson "had potentially taken some decisions in her personal life that had brought in to question her ability to safeguard our children".

Mrs Lynch stressed that the pupils of Holy Family Catholic School were never in danger.

"At no point did this matter impact the safety of our children; the children at Holy Family were completely safe at all times," she said.

The letter caused panic among parents of children at Holy Family School.

One woman with three girls at the school said: "I have been debating this letter for two weeks. I have been very unhappy, thinking: were my kids in danger?

"I don't like to think bad of anyone and I want to know the facts of the matter. How are we to know if our kids were at risk?"

The teacher misconduct panel hearing continues.

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