22 Jun 2017

Principal struck off for fake appraisal

5:46 pm on 22 June 2017

A principal who faked her own performance appraisal and put her husband's signature on it has been struck off the teachers' register.

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Jenny Leach is the former principal of Ferguson Intermediate School in Auckland. Photo: Screenshot / Google Maps

The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal said the former principal of Ferguson Intermediate School in Auckland, Jenny Leach, acted dishonestly and committed the worst kind of misconduct.

It said Ms Leach gave her school's board of trustees the fake appraisal in November 2014 just ahead of an Education Review Office visit.

She signed it with the electronic signature of her husband, former Kings College principal Mike Leach, and the school's board of trustees accepted it.

Problems at the school prompted the Education Ministry to appoint a Limited Statutory Manager in January 2015 who then raised the appraisal with the Education Council's Complaints Assessment Committee.

The tribunal said Ms Leach agreed she should be censured and lose her registration for serious misconduct.

"We consider this to be a clear-cut example of the worst kind of misconduct for which the maximum penalty of cancellation is reserved," the tribunal's decision said.

It said her actions breached a fundamental obligation to be truthful in appraisals, reflected poorly on her fitness to teach and brought the teaching profession into disrepute.

"The respondent misled both her BOT (board of trustees) and ERO (Education Review Office). We agree with the CAC [Complaints Assessment Committee] that her behaviour struck at the heart of the expectation for honesty and integrity that teachers owe the public," the tribunal said.

"Her deception had the potential to bypass the standards and processes put in place to ensure high quality teaching and learning."

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