Colleagues backing superhead Dame Mo Brennan

A superhead and her two teaching colleagues made “an error of judgement”, colleagues said, as a disciplinary panel found them guilty of unacceptable professional conduct, they said in a statement today.

Dame Mo Brennan was honoured by the Queen for turning around the fortunes of failing Hillcrest School and Community College, in Netherton, Dudley, alongside senior teachers Shelley Derham and Linda Westwood. But a disciplinary tribunal ruled they had acted dishonestly.

The Teaching Agency Professional Conduct Panel said they had altered pupil attendance records.

Some disruptive pupils were told to stay at home ahead of GCSE exams but were marked as being on “study leave”.

Dame Mo said this would mean pupil records would not be stained as they tried to get a job or college place.

The three teachers now work at Barr Beacon School in Aldridge and governors at the school have given their backing to the three.

And the Association of School and College Leaders, which represented the three, said the ruling should not overshadow their future careers.

Association spokeswoman Sara Gadzik said: “These three individuals are dedicated and caring professionals who have outstanding records in raising achievement in their schools.

“They accept that they made an error of judgement. However, this should be allowed to supersede all the excellent work they have done and continue to do.

“The matter has to now be referred to the Secretary of State for Education for him to decide whether to take further action.

“The Teaching Agency Panel said they agreed that the three teachers ‘have dedicated their professional lives to children in the most challenging of circumstances and these proceedings are not an indictment on their professional careers’.”

Barr Beacon School governors’ chairman Jeremy Bench said: “These three senior teachers have always had the welfare of the children as their first concern.”