King Solomon headteacher Jo Shuter banned from teaching
The head of King Solomon High School, Jo Shuter, has been banned from teaching for abusing expenses while at her previous school.
One of the most country’s most high-profile teachers, who was awarded the CBE four years ago, she admitted allegations of inappropriate claims during her headship of London’s Quintin Kynaston Community Academy before a teaching disciplinary panel in April.
Education Secretary Michael Gove this week upheld the panel’s recommendation that the 53-year-old teacher be struck off.
Parents of King Solomon’s 900 pupils were told on Tuesday that Ms Shuter had been given “a life-time prohibition order, which prohibits her from teaching indefinitely”.
Governors “had no choice but to suspend Ms Shuter from her role as head teacher with immediate effect. Ms Shuter has 28 days to lodge an appeal”.
Mrs Shuter joined the Orthodox high school in Redbridge last September, four months after stepping down from Quintin Kynaston following an investigation into the school finances.
At last month’s panel, she admitted claiming more than £6,000 for a 50th birthday party, nearly £6,000 for personal taxi journeys and £1,500 for furniture delivered to her home.
The panel concluded that, despite her educational achievements, “public confidence in the profession could be seriously weakened if conduct such as found against Ms Shuter were not treated with the utmost seriousness”.
Her ban will come as a particular blow to governors in the wake of a critical report from Ofsted inspectors at the end of last year in which the school lost its “good” rating of 2009.
One King Solomon parent said on Wednesday that “the governors have some explanation to give.” If they had known that disciplinary proceedings were “hanging over her”, he asked, “why did they appoint her?”
Local councillor Alan Weinberg, who resigned as a governor last year in protest at the choice of Ms Shuter, said her appointment had “been against the advice of the council and flew in the face of logic”.
But he added that the governing body was “now listening to the council and I am sure the school will be able to move forward, which everybody wants”.
Parents have been told that the school is working with Redbridge Council to find an acting head as soon as possible.
An online petition calling for Ms Shuter to keep her job had collected 200 signatures by Wednesday.