A FORMER Kirklees teacher accused of deliberately withholding information on an application form has been cleared of unacceptable professional misconduct.
A General Teaching Council committee considered allegations that Patricia Cox failed to disclose information relating to her reasons for leaving Wormersley Primary School at Barnsley which might have adversely affected her application for the post of deputy head at Highburton C of E First School.
The committee, sitting in Birmingham, heard how Mrs Cox had filled in an application form in April, 2002, for the job at Highburton.
But she failed to disclose that she had encountered problems with the council while at the Wormersley school.
Mrs Cox had said her reasons for leaving the school, where she was head between September, 1999, and April, 2000, were to undertake her own research.
But she did not say there was a difference of approach between her and the council.
The committee also heard that Kirklees Council had received a letter about Mrs Cox in December, 2000, and kept it in their personal file on her.
It did not mention that she had left to undertake research.
She was dismissed from the Highburton school on December 11, 2003, after it was found that she had withheld the reference.
Mrs Cox told the hearing she did not think it had been necessary to mention the reference to the Highburton school.
She said the school should have already seen the reference because it was under Kirklees Council.
Ian Poole, for Mrs Cox, said she had been honest but misguided regarding her application.
"There is no evidence there was an element of dishonesty. A teacher ought to know when signing a declaration what sort of facts should be disclosed," he said.
Presenting officer Andrew Faux asked the committee to consider whether in acting as a professional there was a duty on her to disclose more.
Committee chairman Sashi Sivaloganathan said: "Failure to disclose would ordinarily amount to professional misconduct, but each case is different.
"It was found there was no reason why Mrs Cox deliberately did it and it was an error of judgement."