London

London 'superhead' banned from teaching indefinitely

Greg Wallace
Image caption Greg Wallace, 46, must wait two years before he can apply to teach again

A "super head" who resigned after an investigation into how IT contracts at five east London primary schools were awarded has been banned from teaching

Greg Wallace was initially suspended as the head of Best Start Federation schools in July 2013 before resigning six months later.

He was accused of awarding more than £1m in IT contracts to his then partner's company, C2 Technology.

Mr Wallace, 46, must wait two years before applying to have the ban lifted.

A National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) disciplinary hearing heard Mr Wallace awarded the IT contracts to C2 Technology without obtaining quotes or advising the schools' governors of his actions.

'Inspirational example'

Mr Wallace said he was "always open" about his connection with C2 Technology and that contracts were judged on their value and its quality.

The NCTL disciplinary panel, meeting in Coventry, found that while Mr Wallace's actions were serious they were at the "lower end of the scale of severity".

The panel ruled that he should avoid a ban due to his "inspirational example as an educator."

But a Department for Education official, acting on behalf of the education secretary, overruled the panel saying it had given "undue weight" to the witness testimonies of Mr Wallace's former colleagues and several current colleagues from the Harris Academy chain.

Mr Wallace's conduct was sufficiently severe to erode public confidence in the teaching profession and a ban was therefore appropriate, the DfE added.

After resigning from Best Start Federation Mr Wallace went on to become an unpaid adviser to current Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

But he was forced to resign from that role in December 2015 after Ms Morgan was made aware of the allegations against him.

Mr Wallace was once described by former Education Secretary Michael Gove in a speech in 2012 as one of a "magnificent seven" head teachers running outstanding schools in deprived areas.