‘Inspirational’ Clitheroe Royal Grammar School teacher suspended

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An “inspirational” teacher at a Clitheroe school who took two months off work without a sick note, repeatedly failed to attend staff meetings and was convicted of harassment, has been suspended from the classroom for six months.

The General Teaching Council’s Professional Conduct Committee found Eric Cawley guilty of “unacceptable professional conduct” while employed at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School between November 2009 and April 2010.

It found he failed to follow the school’s absence procedure by failing to provide a sick note for his absence between February 11th and April 18th 2010 and “acted in an unreasonable and inappropriate manner” by repeatedly failing to attend scheduled meetings.

It found he also failed to communicate with senior members of staff about his absences.

He was convicted at Hyndburn Magistrates’ Court on March 4th 2010 of pursuing a course of conduct which amounted to harassment between February 9th-12th 2010, made the subject of a restraining order and community order with a supervision element.

The committee said: “We are satisfied the conduct of Eric Cawley in relation to the facts we have found proved involved a breach of the Code of Conduct and Practice for Registered Teachers.

“We are satisfied the conduct of Eric Cawley fell short of the standard expected of the profession.

“Accordingly we are satisfied Eric Cawley is guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.”

It said it had heard evidence Mr Cawley was “on occasions an inspirational teacher” but it was satisfied it was necessary to impose a suspension order for six months.

Following that period, Mr Cawley cannot return unless he provides a letter from a GP confirming he is fit and able to return to teaching in a full-time or part-time capacity.

Mr Cawley has a right of appeal to the High Court within 28 days.