COUNTY NEWS: Teacher who claimed her father murdered her mother is struck off

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A teacher who made a string of false claims, such as telling colleagues her father had murdered her mother, has been struck off, the National College for Teaching and Leadership has said.

A professional conduct panel said that Sarah Black, formerly of Southway Primary School, Bognor Regis, took 32 days’ compassionate leave on the back of those claims; she was dismissed in June 2015 having been with the school since September 2013.

The panel also found proven allegations Black had formed an “inappropriate relationship” with a vulnerable woman which, over time, saw her punch her, touch her breasts, knock her to the ground, cut her with keys and ask her to lie to the headteacher of Southway.

The panel ruled Miss Black, who did not attend the hearing, was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.

She has been banned from teaching indefinitely.

The panel acknowledged in its report that Miss Black had been of previous good character.

In a report published today (September 21), Alan Meyrick, who made the decision on behalf of the secretary of state, listed the false claims made by Miss Black.

They included saying she had been assaulted by her father, claiming he had attacked and killed her mother, claiming she had been receiving threatening phone calls and notes, that her flat had been broken into and a brick thrown through her window.

Miss Black also told colleagues police were staking out her home, monitoring her phone and installing a panic button in her home. In addition, she said she had been the victim of an attempted kidnapping and/or sexual assault following a Christmas party in December 2014.

Mr Meyrick’s report stressed how important it had been to take into account the unique influence teachers had on their schools and communities and said it was vital to ensure the public’s perception of the teaching profession was not damaged.

Explaining the decision, the report added there was “a strong public interest consideration in ensuring that public confidence in the profession is not seriously weakened, which it would be if conduct such as that found against Miss Black were not treated with the utmost seriousness when regulating the conduct of the profession.”

Miss Black has 28 days to appeal the decision.

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