Former teacher ‘motivated by dishonesty’

A former teacher at a leading Liverpool high school has been accused of being “motivated by dishonesty” as misconduct proceedings were opened against her.

A case has been brought against Lauren Williams-Burgeen who is alleged to have omitted information from her application when going for a job at Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School in West Derby.

A teacher regulation agency (TRA) misconduct hearing was told how it was alleged Mrs Williams-Burgeen also failed to correctly indicate that she was subject to a child protection concern in her work or professional life regarding a previous role in Leeds.

The former teacher, representing herself, admitted errors had been made in relation to some submissions but denied misconduct.

Kiera Oluwunmi, presenting officer on behalf of the TRA, said the allegations amounted to acts of “dishonesty and a lack of integrity” by Mrs Williams-Burgeen. It was said when the former educator applied to work at the boys’ school in March 2020, she had failed to provide correct information relating to the ending of her employment at Unity Academy in Leeds and Wetherby Young Offenders Institute in 2015.

Ms Oluwunmi said it benefitted Mrs Williams-Burgeen “by not highlighting details she ought to have done”. It was alleged a number of inaccuracies came about from the end and start of her employment in Yorkshire, as well as the reasons for her departure from Unity Academy, which resulted in dismissal rather than solely seeking new opportunities.

The presenting officer said an allegation had also been made regarding a safeguarding issue surrounding Mrs Williams-Burgeen which she had failed to notify her future employer about.

Responding, Mrs Williams-Burgeen – who now runs a wedding photography business with her husband – said she was aware the allegations could appear as dishonest and administrative errors were made but “not with ill intent, to mislead or hide anything”. She said she had provided information to Cardinal Heenan “to the best of my knowledge” and had been asked to apply for the role at the school.

Regarding the safeguarding allegation, Mrs Williams-Burgeen said she was made aware of it in September 2022 and at no point was it referred to as a safeguarding matter during her time at Wetherby Young Offenders Institute. She described the period as having “life changing consequences” and there had been “no malice” intended by her actions.

Mrs Williams-Burgeen said she had lost her job and ability to become a parent, suggesting matters had only come to light after she and her husband had attempted to go through the adoption process.

She said she had “lost myself” and “none of this was done on purpose,” suggesting had she not wanted to adopt, she would have still been at Cardinal Heenan in her teaching position.

Ms Oluwunmi said the former teacher had been “motivated by dishonesty” in not disclosing the information correctly to school authorities.

The hearing continues.

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