Former head teacher banned for bullying staff

A former headteacher of a Lincolnshire school has been banned from teaching indefinitely after bullying staff and acting dishonestly.

Neil Wilkinson-Mckie, who suddenly left his role as Head of North Kesteven Academy earlier this year, has been the subject of a misconduct hearing relating to his time at the Roseland Academy in Cornwall.

He cannot teach at any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England, with the decision by the Secretary of State subject to a five year review period.

He was accused of unprofessional conduct whilst failing to maintain appropriate professional standards at the Roseland Academy between September 1, 2012 and May 25, 2016.

A professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency convened on several dates in September and again in November before reaching a decision which was published on December 18.

The majority of the allegations were proven. The professional conduct panel was satisfied that he was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

The panel made findings that he treated six members of staff unfairly. He was also misleading and dishonest when reporting to the governing body about the reasons for the low attendance figures.

He may apply for the prohibition order to be set aside, but not until December 14 2023 at the earliest. He has the right to appeal to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court within 28 from the date he was given notice of the order.

Some of the allegations

  • It was alleged that he bullied and/or treated unfairly six members of staff.
  • Between September 2012 and the 2015/16 academic year he removed one staff member from PASS office and demoted them. He overloaded the same staff with teaching hours and set unrealistic performance management targets.
  • He suspended the same staff member in March 2016 over an incident concerning a pupil when the suspension was unwarranted.
  • He also interfered and/or improperly influenced or sought to influence disciplinary investigation into the same staff over his conduct towards the pupil.
  • He used inappropriate and/or offensive language to describe staff including ‘evil’, ‘Teflon coated’ and ‘should not be anywhere around children’.
  • He threatened another with a disciplinary investigation and gave an untruthful explanation to them as the basis for the investigation.
  • On December 7, 2015, he did not accurately report to the governors the reason for the low level of attendance in the 2014-15 academic year.

 Controversial appointment

Wilkinson-McKie applied for and was successful in his application for the post of temporary deputy headteacher at Roseland Community College (which later became the Roseland Academy) in the summer of 2011.

The post was fixed-term for one year starting in September 2011, but in Spring 2012 he was told his contract would not be extended.

Shortly after the existing headteacher announced their intention to resign at the end of the academic year.

He applied and was shortlisted for the post along with two external candidates. He was appointed despite adverse feedback to the interview panel from many members of staff.

He became head from September 2012. On March 1 2016 he became executive head and CEO of the Roseland Multi-Academy Trust (which the school became part of that year).

Later in March five members of staff were suspended from duty after an incident with a student on March 16. Staff appointed to conduct an internal investigation stetted they had serious concerns about the way Wilkinson-McKie was behaving towards some staff.

The concerned staff member started to secretly record some of his conversations with him before his alleged interference in the investigation was reported to the trustees of the MAT under the whistleblowing policy.

In May 2016 he was suspended by the trustees and an independent investigator was appointed.

Wilkson-McKie also worked as head of North Kesteven Academy, which he left by mutual consent at the end of August 2018. The main reason for termination of his employment was the impact of the surrounding publicity on the Academy.