Teacher at Huntingdon school banned from classroom after asking parents for extra school trip money

Education news
Education news

A teacher has been banned from the classroom for asking parents to give him extra money for school trips in cash and without the agreement of the school finance team, a misconduct hearing concluded.

Modern foreign languages teacher David Malengela (41) was tasked with organising overseas trips at St Peter’s secondary school in Huntingdon.

A Teaching Regulation Agency panel in Coventry was told he asked parents for a “£20 refundable behaviour deposit for the Hotel Bon-Sejour” in addition to the previously stated cost of £390 for a trip to Paris.

An itinerary sent by the tour operator stated no behaviour deposit was required, the panel heard, and proposed increases in the cost had not been “adequately communicated to, nor agreed by, the school finance team”.

The panel also heard from a woman, referred to only as Witness A, who said she had seen Mr Malengela asking parents for an extra 20 Euros “to be paid to him personally as the children boarded the coach on departure”.

Mr Malengela resigned in May 2017 and a subsequent disciplinary investigation by the school “alleged serious irregularities in the administration of the trips”.

A misconduct hearing took place in September and the outcome was published on Tuesday.

It said the panel found Mr Malengela “displayed behaviours amounting to fraud or serious dishonesty and in addition demonstrated a clear lack of

integrity”.

They added his actions were “calculated and deliberate”.

The total amount of money claimed was not stated.

Mr Malengela was banned from teaching in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England indefinitely.

He was given 28 days to appeal the decision.

The school said in a statement: “The dishonest behaviour of Mr Malengela fell significantly short of the high standards we expect of everyone at St Peter’s School and we are pleased that the Teacher Regulation Agency has prohibited him from teaching indefinitely.

“An investigation completed by our finance team uncovered serious administration errors when Mr Malengela was managing the school’s trips to Paris, including in some instances requesting additional money which had not been agreed by the school. We immediately reported our concerns to the Teacher Regulation Agency and Cambridgeshire police for further investigations. Mr Malengela subsequently resigned in May 2017.

“Because of Mr Malengela’s dishonesty not all the trip money was paid to the school. Therefore, we took the decision to fund the outstanding money to ensure the trips went ahead and that no student was affected by his behaviour.

“We apologise to anyone who believe they might have been affected by Mr Malengela’s dishonesty and strongly encourage them to report the matter to Cambridgeshire police using the following reference number: CF0353800617.”

A police spokesman said the force believe Mr Malengela is abroad, and that they would like to speak to him as part of an ongoing investigation.