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Pension threat for head teacher

PUBLISHED: 14:22 26 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:47 24 August 2010

A HEAD teacher embroiled in a £1.6 million bonus scandal has had his pension slashed and could lose it altogether, writes Alex Wellman. Sir Alan Davies resigned as head teacher of Copland School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, rather than face a disciplinary pa

A HEAD teacher embroiled in a £1.6 million bonus scandal has had his pension slashed and could lose it altogether, writes Alex Wellman.

Sir Alan Davies resigned as head teacher of Copland School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley, rather than face a disciplinary panel after a whistleblower lifted the lid on allegations he pocketed £600,000 in bonuses.

The Times can exclusively reveal that Brent Council has since changed his, and other staff members involved in the scandal, pension after it was artificially high due to huge payments they gave themselves.

Teachers make payments toward their pension based on the money they take home and the Government then match that total.

A council spokesman said: "Teachers' pensions are administered by the Teachers' Pension Scheme, over which the council has no say.

"There are provisions for forfeiture of pension rights where a teacher has been convicted of a relevant criminal offence.

"It is for the independent Interim Executive Board to decide what further action to take based on legal advice.

"The council, acting on behalf of the board, has arranged adjustments to past pension contributions where the level of contribution had been too high because it was based on higher than permitted levels of pay."

A DCSF spokesman said: "We are looking at it but what we need to get to the bottom of is what monies have been paid out and whether or not it was justified.

"We are looking carefully at what the implications are of Brent's ongoing investigation and any possible future criminal charges."

Sir Alan, deputy head Dr Richard Evans, MBE, human resources head Michelle Bishop and bursar Columbus Odukoro were all suspended this year after £1.6m of payments were discovered to have been made to the quartet over seven years.

Ms Bishop also stood down while Dr Evans has been sacked by the Interim Executive Board.

Mr Odukoro will have his disciplinary hearing in December.

When the Times tried to call Sir Alan he did not return our calls and he was not in when we visited his home.

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