Nottingham

Shanay Walker: Cruelty death head banned from teaching

Shanay Walker Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Shanay Walker had faced years of abuse from an aunt and grandmother

A head teacher who "completely failed" in safeguarding duties relating to the death of a pupil has been banned from teaching.

Shanay Walker, seven, died at a house in Nottingham in July 2014 after years of abuse from relatives.

A conduct panel found Peter Smalley, of Southglade Primary School, where she was a pupil, oversaw "widespread confusion" and "repeated failures".

He was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

Shanay was placed in care of her aunt, Kay-Ann Morris, in 2012 after her mother suffered post-natal depression.

A serious case review found, in the years leading up to her death, bruising and injuries were explained away by Morris as accidental or the result of self-harm.

Image copyright Nottingham Post
Image caption Mr Smalley admitted a string of safeguarding failings

Morris was later cleared of murder but jailed for child cruelty along with Shanay's grandmother, Juanila Smikle.

Mr Smalley was Southglade's head from September 2013 until February 2017.

He admitted a series of failings including not providing staff with effective training and failing to implement an adequate system to identify child protection issues.

Mr Smalley also admitted helping to "recreate" a lost referral form for Shanay weeks after her death - an action described as "self-serving" by a coroner - but was cleared of doing this dishonestly.

Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Kay-Ann Morris and Juanila Smikle were found guilty in 2015 of cruelty to Shanay

In evidence to the panel, he said: "I did not understand my responsibilities as head teacher.

"I hold my hands up. I should have put safeguarding at the front of my thinking. I was passive."

In its findings, the Teaching Regulation Agency panel said: "Good safeguarding is a key precept for any head teacher.

"Mr Smalley completely failed in his execution of it as head teacher at the school."

It added the "extensive systemic failures" meant chances to intervene in Shanay's case were missed.

Mr Smalley will be allowed to apply for a review of the ban after five years.

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