Why didn’t Hackney Council report dismissed “superhead” to regulatory body? ask unions

Greg Wallace, executive principal of the Best Start Federation

Greg Wallace, executive principal of the Best Start Federation - Credit: google

Union leaders have questioned why Hackney Council has not report dismissed “superhead” Greg Wallace to the body regulating teachers, and have decided to take the matter into their own hands.

Mr Wallace – once described as one of former education secretary Michael Gove’s “magnificent seven” – was suspended from his post last summer while the council investigated allegations of financial irregularity and the awarding of lucrative computer contracts thought to be worth in excess of £1million to C2 Technology, reportedly owned by his boyfriend Tony Zangoura.

The executive head of five Hackney schools – Woodberry Down, London Fields, Whitmore, Mandeville and Burbage, part of the Best Start Federation (BSF) governing body – was dismissed in October after the inquiry.

Mick Regan, associate secretary of Hackney’s National Union of Teachers (NUT) branch, said that if Wallace had been found guilty of misusing public money, which could have amounted to millions of pounds, then the National College for Teachers and Learning (NCTL) should have been immediately informed after his dismissal.

Mr Regan said: “This is a formality for any LEA when a headteacher or teacher has misused school money.

“The Hackney Learning Trust should have done this due to the seriousness of the case. It should not be left to a trade union or a member of the public to draw attention to this possible corruption.

“Other heads who have committed similar offences have been reported, so why has Hackney failed to do so?”

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The GMB and the NUT have now written to the NCTL asking for both the case and the council’s failure to report it to be considered.

In May former London academy “superhead” Jo Shuter was banned from teaching for life by the NCTL after she was found guilty of expenses abuses.

Unions criticised the council in February for refusing to publish the full report on “financial irregularities” at BSF schools.

At the time the council cited confidentiality and “legal reasons” to justify its refusal to reveal how much taxpayers’ cash was involved.

A spokeswoman denied it would be standard practice to report a teacher to the NCTL as there were no “safeguarding issues” involved and said “each case is considered on its merits”.

She added that recommendations had been made to tighten financial and procurement in BSF schools when Mr Wallace was dismissed, adding: “We are confident this has taken place and the schools continue to thrive. Our priority has always been the pupils of the schools involved and this matter is now closed.”