The Teacher’s Disciplinary Tribunal has struck a teacher off the teaching register after she was found guilty by the Court of using business tax money for purposes other than paying tax.

The teacher was the Director and sole shareholder of two companies providing education services.

Over a period of two and a half years, the teacher failed to pay PAYE or GST to the Inland Revenue Department. Instead the teacher used the money for personal expenses, an overseas trip, and to purchase an interest in a property.

She owed the IRD over $250,000 when she was sentenced to six months home detention by the District Court, and ordered to pay over $150,000 reparations.

The Tribunal was notified of the conviction, and after a hearing, held that the offending amounted to serious misconduct.

The Tribunal described the offending as spanning a significant amount of time and the amount of money involved was far higher than had been involved in any previous hearing.

The Tribunal held that “the dishonesty, lack of integrity and deliberate disregard for her obligations to pay tax, reflects adversely on the respondent’s fitness to be a teacher.” It expressed that the reputation of the profession would be lowered if the teacher continued to teach.

The Tribunal censured the teacher, and cancelled her registration as no other disciplinary measure was appropriate.

Teachers must be highly aware that poor behaviour outside of the workplace can reflect adversely on their ability to teach, and may lead to serious consequences, including being struck off.

If there are concerns about the conduct of a teacher outside of the workplace, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

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Alan Knowsley


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