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Andrew Cowey: Teacher who stole trip money banned

The school Image copyright Google
Image caption Andrew Cowey taught at Dene Community School for five years

A teacher who stole money given to him by pupils for school trips has been banned from the job for five years.

Andrew Cowey had previously been given a community order and ordered to pay £5,000 compensation after admitting the theft at court.

A professional conduct panel has now found he acted dishonestly.

Cowey, 28, also deleted spreadsheets at Dene Community School in Peterlee, County Durham, and tried to hide the theft by asking parents for more money.

In 2016 and 2017, the teacher took money from students for trips to the theatre, according to a report issued by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).

‘Unacceptable conduct’

He “falsely” recorded some children as attending for free or receiving funding from a charity, the report said, while he “retained the money for himself”.

Cowey deleted spreadsheets to hide the theft and also amended letters to parents about other school trips to “cover up the amount of money missing from the school”.

The theft was discovered in April 2017 and Cowey was ordered by the headteacher not to take any more money from pupils.

But the next day he took £170 from a student and, when questioned about why he took it home, gave an explanation that was “untrue”.

Cowey admitted unacceptable professional conduct .

Alan Meyrick, chief executive of the TRA, said the panel found “only some remorse” and Cowey “persisted in his behaviour despite a clear warning”.

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