The former “superhead” of the Perry Beeches Academy Trust has been banned from teaching.
Liam Nolan was found guilty of misconduct last month after appearing before a Teacher Regulation Agency.
A government investigation previously found the trust had paid almost £1.3 million to a private firm – Nexus Schools – without a contract or adequate tendering
Nolan had drawn a second salary of £160,000 over two years, on top of his £120,000 headteacher salary, paid through Nexus.
In a ruling today, Nolan has been banned from teaching indefinitely. However he is allowed to apply for the prohibition to be set aside in two years.
In particular, the panel was concerned that Nolan blamed the trustees, accountants and others for the remuneration arrangements that are at the heart of this case
The report stated that Nolan had a “cavalier attitude to his role as accounting officer, which the panel found involved a lack of integrity on his part”.
The panel also stated that although Nolan apologised for some of his failings as accounting officer, there did not seem to be “sufficient insight into the seriousness of those failings or his responsibility in that post”.
“In particular, the panel was concerned that Nolan blamed the trustees, accountants and others for the remuneration arrangements that are at the heart of this case”.
The panel found that Nolan breached academy funding rules with his dual role because he failed to seek that his pay arrangements met his tax obligations and because there were no “exceptional temporary circumstances” that justified payment outside payroll.
It was also found proven that Nolan failed to ensure the payments were disclosed in his trust’s 2013-14 financial statements, which breached academy funding and Charity Commission rules.
Nolan also broke the rules by failing to disclose the conflict of interest that existed around his dual role in an annual declaration of business interests, and by failing to ensure the trust had a written contract with Nexus, the panel found.
Nolan also failed to ensure the trust had a competitive tendering policy before contracting services to Nexus.
The panel concluded that Nolan’s actions were “lacking in integrity” because he signed the 2013-14 accounts and annual declaration despite the omissions. However, they ruled that he did not act “dishonestly”.
The panel did accept that Nolan had made a “significant contribution to the profession”. It was was included in the report that he was once named “headteacher of the year”, for instance.
However the panel said it could not regard Nolan as having a previously good record because of a reprimand from the General Teaching Council following a criminal conviction for outraging public decency in 2007.
The report stated previous ‘outstanding’ Ofsted inspections for some of the schools Nolan led were taken into account when deciding he could appeal the ban after two years.
The report stated: “This period would allow Mr Nolan a period in which to reflect on his failings and gain appropriate insight.”