A fraudster teacher who concealed a court case from a school received a ban from the profession for a minimum of two years.

Dipti Patel moved to Bolton from London when she became the head of PE at Manchester Academy in Moss Side in 2018.

Mrs Patel said one of the reasons for the move was an armed burglary at her home in the South of England. The family made an insurance claim for tens of thousands of pounds after the incident.

However, an investigation revealed that this was a contrived burglary and that the insurance claim was fraudulent as a result.

Mrs Patel was charged with an offence under the Fraud Act but it was not until after she was convicted she told the school about the court case. She received a suspended sentence, 10 days of rehabilitation activities and 120 hours of unpaid work.

Previously, she lied on an application for leave, saying it was to take a child to an appointment when it was to attend to St Albans Crown Court, and on another application, saying she was not aware of anything which might affect her DBS status.
Manchester Academy referred Mrs Patel to the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).

On May 12, a panel recommended a ban from the profession for a minimum of two years and, on May 16, the Department for Education accepted this recommendation.

It reads: "The panel was of the view a prohibition order was both proportionate and appropriate. 

"When balancing the competing aggravating factors and mitigating factors, the panel considered the mitigating factors, although significant, could not sufficiently diminish the seriousness of the dishonesty element in this case, which necessitated a prohibition order to properly maintain confidence in the profession and declare and uphold its standards."

A prohibition order lasts for life and the right to a review after two years is not automatic.

Mrs Patel received the right to a review after two years due to her "dedication" and "drive" as the head of PE at Manchester Academy and her "regret" and "remorse" about the incident.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email jack.tooth@newsquest.co.uk or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.