A former Birmingham headteacher has been banned from the classroom for stealing £7,238 from her school to buy pirate costumes for her daughter’s hen party.
Ann Regan resigned from Hamstead Infant School, where she had worked since 2005, after it emerged she stole the cash from the children’s ‘treats’ fund to buy fancy dress for the pre-wedding party.
The 45-year-old mum, from Sutton Coldfield, admitted defrauding the money and was handed a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 240 hours’ community service at Wolverhampton Crown Court in March last year.
Now the shamed teacher has been kicked out of the profession following a disciplinary panel hearing by the Teaching Agency.
Panel chair Mick Levens said: “Your offence, which was one of dishonesty, clearly breached the standards required of teaching professionals.
“It has material relevance to your fitness to be a teacher.
“You have taken advantage of your profession for financial gain, and have not upheld public trust and confidence in the profession.”
The Teaching Agency panel makes recommendations to the Secretary of State for Education on teachers’ conduct. It opened on April 1 after the General Teaching Council (GTC) ceased operations.
The Teaching Agency could have recommended that Regan be allowed to be reinstated after five years.
But, instead, the disciplinary panel said that her misconduct was too serious.
Mr Levens added: “The majority view was that the Secretary of State should not allow you to apply to have your Prohibition Order reviewed.
“The principal reason was that it was inconceivable that parents who know of your past could have confidence that you could ever be trusted with school finances in the future.”
The Secretary of State accepted the panel’s advice on Regan’s case.
Regan previously wrote to the GTC to express her shame at her crimes.
She wrote: “I deeply regret my actions and I am making every effort to move on in a positive and constructive way to fulfil my obligations to the court and all concerned.”
Regan’s case was heard by the Teaching Agency on May 8.
The disciplinary panel was told that she used internet shopping sites to put goods into an online basket then print off an image of the screen as proof she had paid for the items.
But instead she cancelled the order then claimed the cash.
Between September 2009 and June 2010 she received 13 reimbursement payments from the school budget as a result.
Regan was caught out when the school’s secretary overheard her saying that she wanted to buy pirate outfits for her daughter’s hen night.
The secretary asked her son to check the documents Regan submitted and governors were notified after he found discrepancies in July 2010.
Initially she denied any wrongdoing saying she had needed the cash and had planned to pay it back.
She was suspended on July 21 2010, but resigned a month later after admitting she had carried out fraud.
At her court hearing it emerged that she had paid £5,000 to Sandwell Council shortly after she quit her post.
The judge made a compensation order for the remaining £2,238.