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'Why didn't Hackney Council report super-head Greg Wallace?': Demand for answers after teacher struck off

PUBLISHED: 08:25 17 June 2016 | UPDATED: 08:25 17 June 2016

Greg Wallace, executive principal of the Best Start Federation

Greg Wallace, executive principal of the Best Start Federation

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Hackney Council is under fire from teaching unions for failing to report disgraced "super-head" Greg Wallace to the body regulating the profession.

The Town Hall barred Mr Wallace from Hackney schools after discovering he had awarded computer contracts worth more than £1million to his lover’s company, but failed to flag him up to the National College for Teachers and Learning (NCTL).

Mr Wallace – once described as one of education secretary’s Michael Gove’s “magnificent seven – was dismissed three years ago following a Hackney Council investigation.

He had been executive head of five Hackney schools under the umbrella of the Best Start Federation (BSF) governing body.

But although it is due process for an education authority to report a teacher who has misused school money to the NCTL, Hackney never did.

The borough branches of GMB, Unison and the National Union of Teachers (NUT) decided to take matters into their own hands and reported Mr Wallace themselves a year later.

Now the government has banned him from teaching for life, with the option of appealing after two years.

Mick Regan, former secretary of the Hackney NUT, said the council should have acted earlier, claiming members had raised concerns long before Mr Wallace was investigated.

“The decision to ban Greg Wallace from teaching raises serious issues over why Hackney Learning Trust failed to report him in the first place,” he said.

“The questionable way the computer contract was awarded was known for many years, yet the trust continued to give him more schools to run. Someone needs to take a serious look at why all the warning signs were ignored.”

Mr Wallace admitted to the NCTL he bought IT services from C2 Technology Ltd without disclosing that he was in a sexual relationship with Tony Zangoura, the firm’s principle director and shareholder.

He sent Zangoura emails encouraging him to invoice for more work and disclosed confidential information about tender bids by C2’s competitors.

But a council spokesman said a full independent investigation had been carried out as soon as concerns were raised.

“Although Mr Wallace tendered his resignation during the disciplinary process, the procedure was completed and Mr Wallace was dismissed,” he added.

“At that time the council considered it was not in the best interest of these schools to make a referral to the NCTL.

He said the federation had been disbanded and financial procedures “tightened up”.

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