A former teacher at a St Leonards school has been banned from the country’s classrooms for at least two years for lying in job applications.
The ban imposed on Matthew Brown centred on lies he told in a job application about his previous work history at the former Hillcrest Secondary School and Claverham Community College, Battle.
Another complaint which centred on Brown’s time at Claverham was he had amended an employment reference provided by someone at the school. On the basis of this and other dishonesty - he had also exaggerated his GCSE qualifications - Brown secured a post for three years at Notre Dame School at Cobham. But his dishonesty came to light after he applied for promotion. The ban followed a recent disciplinary panel finding that he was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct. The National College for Teaching and Leadership professional conduct panel was told Brown obtained the post as Head of ICT at Notre Dame in January 2011. Panel chairman Mark Tweedle said Brown was employed in that role until at least February 6 this year, when he applied for position of head of year at Notre Dame School. However, the school identified discrepancies in the application and investigated Brown’s qualifications, including those set out in his application from January 2011. The NCTL findings concluded: “An investigation was carried out by the school and on April 21, 2014 Mr Brown left Notre Dame School having signed a confidential settlement agreement.” They say that Brown had provided false information in respect of his GCSE results, claiming to have obtained nine GCSEs in 1997, one of which was a dual-award GCSE, securing seven grade B and three grade C. He also claimed that they included History and ICT. In addition, Brown falsely claimed to have been an advanced skills teacher at Claverham Community College from 2004, but he now accepted he had not obtained that qualification. He also claimed to have been ‘Acting Head of ICT’ at Hillcrest from August 2006 to July 2007, when he was only a member of the ICT department and he claimed he was head of ICT at The British School, Warsaw from September 2007 to June 2009, when in reality, he had been appointed to teach PE in September 2007 and was only head of ICT from September 2008. NCTL official Paul Heathcote said Brown’s actions were ‘deliberate and dishonest’, though he added that he had a good history and that there was no evidence of dishonesty in areas of his work. He said: “He has shown some remorse and insight into his actions albeit late in proceedings.”