Teacher’s reprimand for ‘lack of judgement’

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A SUPPLY teacher has been reprimanded for allowing a pupil into her own home.

Nicola Gargett, who was described by colleagues as “a superb member of staff” who went above and beyond the call of duty in her job, spent 12 months carrying out one-to-one tuition at Sunderland’s Tudor Grove Centre in Portland Road, between May 2009 and April 2010, with children who had been taken into council care.

But concerns were raised about crossing professional boundaries and the General Teaching Council (GTC) upheld one complaint that she had allowed a pupil into her Hetton home, saying it had shown “a lack of professional judgement”.

The GTC also criticised Ms Gargett, who was working for Randstad Education, after she admitted lending money to one of the pupils to buy trousers.

In a final ruling, the GTC committee said Ms Gargett had shown insight and empathy to the children in her care and also acknowledged her actions were unwise.

The GTC said: “It is clear that her work for Randstad Education involved providing education and care for vulnerable children – her actions presented a risk to her as well as to the child because allowing a pupil into her home shows a lack of professional judgement.”

The GTC dismissed allegations that Ms Gargett had allowed pupils to drink alcohol and allowed a pupil to hug and kiss her, after her manager wrote a glowing report saying he was surprised by the allegations, which had shocked other members of staff.

Ms Gargett’s reprimand will stay on her record for two years.

Mike Foster, Sunderland City Council’s deputy executive director of children’s services, said: “We expect the highest professional standards from all our teachers.

“Anyone working with young people in Sunderland is subject to the same stringent guidelines of professional conduct whether they are employed by the city council or work as agency staff.”