Stratford Head Teacher struck off for life for unacceptable conduct

Rebecca Cheetham nursery in Marcus Street, Stratford.

Rebecca Cheetham nursery in Marcus Street, Stratford. - Credit: Archant

The Head Teacher of a nursery has been banned from teaching for life after she abused her position to employ relatives and mispent thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

Rebecca Cheetham nursery in Marcus Street, Stratford.

Rebecca Cheetham nursery in Marcus Street, Stratford. - Credit: Archant

Daphne Farrow, 63, was employed as the Head Teacher at Rebecca Cheetham Nursery Education Centre in Marcus Street, Stratford, in September 1988 and stayed there for over a decade.

She was brought before a Professional Conduct Panel of the Teaching Agency who heard that Farrow failed to follow transparency rules when she employed her husband Kieran Farrow and gave him unaccounted for overtime and days off in lieu.

A report by the agency alleged Farrow employed her son’s company, Blue Boy Productions, to work at the centre without declaring her personal interest, and she used photographic images of children in a promotional leaflet without parental consent.

It added allegations that Farrow used public money to pay for an employee’s private medical care, offered free childcare to staff, and loaned a Governor’s relative £2,500 which was never paid back.

Farrow also reportedly wrote off £7,233 of fees owed by parents, agreeing School Budgets and a finance policy without the knowledge of the Governing Body.

The Teaching Agency found Farrow guilty of unacceptable professional conduct on February 28 and she was struck off the teaching register for life while the Secretary of State for Education’s office also imposed a ban on her even applying to be able to teach again.

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The panel’s recommendations said: “We are concerned that in putting her case Mrs Farrow has shown no insight or remorse and very limited acknowledgement of her management failures.

“A Head Teacher is a role model for her staff and the school. Mrs Farrow has shown no proper regard for this responsibility.”

Newham Council runs the nursery and approved the appointment of Mrs Farrow.

A council spokesperson said: “This is a fitting outcome for a Head Teacher who woefully abused their position of power and trust and showed no regard for the policies and practices that should have been in place at the school.

“Our rigorous systems and the digilence of Newham’s officers uncovered the deception carried out by the former Head Teacher of Rebecca Cheetham Nursery School.

“The council’s audit investigation into allegations of financial irregularity and management practices at the school led to this judgement being made.”

The spokesperson added that at no point was the children’s education compromised and Farrow was dismissed at the earliest opportunity.