Banned for life: teacher who lied on CV to get job at ‘high society’ school

ANNA DAVIS, Dave Speck
Deception: Simon Dodd changed his degree result

A teacher has been banned from the classroom for falsifying his CV to land a job at a girls’ school popular with London’s high society.

Cambridge-educated Simon Dodd, 39, submitted a false degree certificate showing he had obtained a 2:1 grade rather than a 2:2 in his application to Francis Holland School in Belgravia, a conduct panel ruled.

He was also found to have omitted a stint at another London school which lasted three months. The deception was uncovered when the head teacher at Francis Holland — where former pupils include Cara Delevingne, Sienna Miller, Joan Collins, Petra and Tamara Ecclestone, Emilia Fox, Jemima Khan and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones — had a “chance conversation” with one of Mr Dodd’s former colleagues.

From his home in Walton-on-Thames, Mr Dodd told the Standard he had made “a big mistake”, adding that he was considering an appeal.

A National College for Teaching and Leadership professional conduct panel heard Mr Dodd started working as director of creative enterprises at the £7,000-a-term school in Sloane Square in January last year. He resigned in March last year after being confronted by school management.

The panel’s report said: “Through a chance conversation it came to light that he had omitted a previous period of employment from his CV.” It said further investigation revealed he had been employed elsewhere at that time. “In addition, he included within his CV that he had obtained a 2:1 degree ... and he supported this by the submission of a falsified degree certificate.”

The panel found Mr Dodd carried out the acts “knowingly and deliberately” to have a “better prospect of obtaining a senior position there and for financial betterment”. The report praised Mr Dodd for being a “talented and dedicated teacher” who was “open and honest about what he had done when challenged”.

But the panel ruled that his behaviour amounted to unacceptable professional conduct which could bring teaching into disrepute.

It issued a prohibition order, preventing him from working in teaching indefinitely, and said the breaches were so serious he would not be allowed to apply for the ban to be lifted in future. He has 28 days to appeal.

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