St Albans teacher banned from classrooms across the country

Marlborough School

Marlborough School - Credit: Archant

A St Albans teacher who lied to get his job and then took time off and claimed that he was absent because his wife and son had been ill has been banned indefinitely from the country’s classrooms.

Among the range of excuses for absences given by Nitesh Patel, 37, who was taken on as a maths teacher at Marlborough Science Academy in 2013, was that his wife was undergoing heart tests; his son was in hospital with breathing problems and that the boy would have to be hospitalised for between seven and ten days.

However, a teachers’ disciplinary panel ruled that none of this was true. And it also found that Patel had, in applying for the post at the secondary school, not told the truth about the reason for him leaving previous posts.

The National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) panel additionally found that within a day of being sacked from Marlborough for gross misconduct he had issued a CV to recruitment agencies which gave a false account of his employment history and made no mention of his time at the academy.

Patel admitted all the allegations and that he had “dishonestly and knowingly” provided inaccurate information. He also accepted that his behaviour amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.

Banning him from teaching indefinitely on behalf of Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, deputy director of the NCTL, Alan Meyrick said: “In this case the teacher’s conduct represented a significant breach of the Teachers’ Standards.

“Mr Patel has failed to act with honesty and integrity.

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“He has been found to have acted dishonestly. These acts of dishonesty involved the deliberate attempt to mislead the school by making up false accounts of the state of health of members of his family.”

Mr Meyrick went on: “Mr Patel then deliberately omitted and/or added information in documents designed to mislead the recipients of those documents.

“This was not a case of an isolated incident. The course of behaviour had extended over a period of a number of months and related to a series of acts of deception.”

However, he left the way open for Patel to return to teaching in the future. He backed a recommendation by the disciplinary panel that he should be allowed to apply after three years for the ban to be lifted.

But he warned that his right to return to the classroom would not be automatic, saying: “If he does apply, a panel will meet to consider whether the prohibition order should be set aside. Without a successful application, Mr Nitesh Patel remains prohibited from teaching indefinitely.”