Headteacher who used school funds for ‘sex dungeon’ and booze is banned for life

A disgraced headteacher who had drunken romps in a "sex dungeon" alongside his office has been banned from teaching for life

James Stewart, 74, used school cash to convert his office into an x-rated lair designed for trysts with his married secretary.

He was executive principal at Sawtry Village Academy in Cambridgeshire until 2014 when the Department for Education launched an investigation into his running of the school.

The sex den was only uncovered when a roofing contractor spotted a large purple vibrator through the office skylight.

Sex toys, cards depicting various Kama Sutra acts, a game called "saucy charades" and shelves stacked with booze were also uncovered.

Stewart, who defrauded the school of more than £100,000, was struck off by the Teaching Regulation Agency.

He was convicted of fraud and misconduct in public office for offences between 2011 and 2014, and was jailed for four years in October 2017.

During Stewart’s sentencing, school manager Peter Evans claimed the sounds emanating from office were like "the Benny Hill show" as the head chased his PA around the office.

Stewart habitually disappeared for hours on end or entire days.

He also splurged school funds on a monthly wine club and on hotel bar bills.

North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara raised the case during education questions in the House of Commons in 2017.

He said the school had been left in "serious financial difficulty", and that this was "not least because of the activities of its former head which included building a sex dungeon alongside his office for his private use".

A Teaching Regulation Agency panel concluded in a report published on Friday that it was "proportionate" to ban Stewart from teaching indefinitely.

The report said: "Whilst Mr Stewart previously had a good record, the panel found no evidence that the teacher's actions were not deliberate, nor was he acting under duress.

"In fact, the panel found the teacher's actions to be calculated, motivated and sustained for a number of years."

It said the panel took into account the "significant detrimental impact on the financial position of the college and the more lasting damage to the education of its pupils during this period, together with the longer term reputational damage as a result of Mr Stewart's actions".

Towards the end of Stewart’s 30-year tenure, Ofsted placed the school in special measures.

Buildings fell into disrepair and the financially ruined school didn't have the cash to save them.

The school was ranked 'good' in its latest inspection.

Stewart’s deputy, church-going Alan Stevens, 66, was spared the boot by regulators.

He made bogus expenses claims while vice-principal and was handed a two-year suspended term after admitting fraud.

The Teaching Regulation Agency heard that Stevens claimed £364 in expenses for his personal buys.

He used school funds to pay for a National Trust membership and on train fares for his wife to visit London.

Deciding against a ban, the panel said it took into account Stevens’ charity work and that he was seen as a “pillar of the community”.

Stewart cannot reapply to teach and has 28 days to appeal.

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