A headteacher who was caught in a cheating scandal has had his teaching ban lifted after an appeal.

Malcom Drakes admitted "excessively" helping pupils in English and maths tests in May 2018 when he was executive headteacher of Broadford Primary School in Harold Hill.

A panel from Teachers Regulation Agency banned Mr Drakes from the profession indefinitely in November 2022.

Mr Drakes appealed the ban and a new panel has decided to lift it, meaning he can return to teaching.

He stepped down from his role in charge of Mead and Broadford Primary Schools in December 2018.

According to the latest report, a complaint was made in August 2018 by a staff member who filmed a video during an English Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test in May 2018.

The report said Mr Drakes's actions included over-pronouncing words, such as saying ‘arc-i-tect' for architect and ‘d-e-send-dant' for descendent in the spelling test and stating when pupils needed to leave spaces between words in an answer. 

The results of two English tests and a maths SATs test taken in the same week, which Mr Drakes also attended, were later annulled by the Standards Testing Agency (STA).

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Mr Drakes accepted that his actions were “dishonest and lacked integrity” but added that his intention was “always to assist pupils”.

He confessed to have “created the weather” during assessments that led to other teachers modelling his behaviour.

He however appealed the prohibition order in the High Court successfully and a new panel met to make a fresh recommendation on his ban.

The new panel found that Mr Drakes’ behaviour amounted to “unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.”

Statements presented by two witnesses were considered, one of whom explained the reason for the test results being annulled by the STA and the potential effects it may have on the pupils' future.

She accepted that while this impact may not necessarily be long term, it did give “unfair assistance...which would likely lead to inflated results".

Mr Drakes again accepted wrongdoing and said that during both the exams, he “set the tone of the room and was the person that people looked to in terms of how to behave”.

The panel was satisfied that Mr Drakes' conduct, in relation to the facts found proved, involved breaches of the Teachers’ Standards.

It heard Mr Drakes volunteered to be in the room with five pupils after he learnt they would all be taking their SATs tests together.

He told the panel the plan was like “putting five sticks of dynamite together in a room”.

It heard he wanted to support them so they could complete the tests and attend a school trip planned as an end-of-exams reward.

He however told the panel that the “way he went about this was entirely wrong”.

The panel considered that though Mr Drakes acted dishonestly, this was a misguided attempt to “address the unfairness for vulnerable pupils”.

It decided that there was a “strong public interest consideration” in retaining Mr Drakes in the profession.

The panel received “copious evidence” of Mr Drakes’ “outstanding contribution to education, his career in teaching and were left in no doubt of his significant achievements".

The report said Mr Drakes was designated as a “national leader of education” supporting a number of schools both within Havering and beyond to improve their Ofsted grades.

He successfully bid for more than £230,000 of funding to deliver an improvement project across all primary settings in Havering, it added.

The panel believed that there was no continuing risk to education or wellbeing of pupils as Mr Drakes had reflected on his actions.

It also saw “numerous references” attesting to Mr Drakes’ contributions to the field and recommended to the Secretary of State that he should not be banned.