Hartlepool teacher who stole £15,000 of school trips cash is kicked out of profession

A Hartlepool teacher who conned his school out of £15,000 by lying about the number of children going on trips has been kicked out of the profession.

Thursday, 14th April 2016, 9:52 am
Updated Thursday, 14th April 2016, 9:57 am
Thomas Bisset has been kicked out of the teaching profession.

History teacher Thomas Bisset, 48, cooked up the scam while head of year at St Hild's Church of England School in the town between November 2011 and April 2014.

Bisset was able to overstate the number of children going on a trip, then pocket the extra cash the school forked out for trips, including one to Flamingo Land at Malton in 2014.

The teacher, who joined St Hild's in 1991, was sacked in May 2015 following an internal investigation.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Bissett, of Durham Road, Hartlepool, admitted fraud at Teesside Crown Court, but claimed he was under serious financial pressure at the time.

Judge Tony Briggs sentenced Bisset to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, last September, and said: 'It is perfectly clear to see that basically you were unable to deal with the financial pressures you were faced with.

'Effectively you closed your mind to those difficulties, thought there was a simple way out, chose it, and the difficulties have been quadrupled by your conduct."

He added there was no evidence of 'high living'.

Bisset has a further caution for common assault in 2008, a disciplinary panel at the National College of Teaching and Leadership in Coventry heard.

Panel chairman Councillor Gail Goodman said: "His conduct goes to the heart of his role as a teacher and the position of trust he had with the school, the children and parents.

"His actions were contrary to the standards of personal and professional conduct expected of a teacher, and would be likely to affect the public's confidence in the profession if the teacher was allowed to continue teaching."

Striking him off the register, she said: 'We take into account the uniquely influential role teachers take and can hold in pupils' lives, and that pupils must be able to view teachers as role models in the way they behave.

"In our view, the conduct displayed by Mr Bisset would likely have a negative impact on his status as a teacher, potentially damaging the public's perception of teaching as a whole."

Bisset, who was not presented or represented at the hearing, will not be entitled to apply for a review of his ban until 2020.

He was given 28 days to appeal the panel's decision.