THE FORMER principal of Lymm High School has been banned from teaching after a misconduct panel ruled she had brought the profession into disrepute.

Angela Walsh was found to have used the chairman’s signature without his permission in her mortgage application, lied about taking a trip to France during term time and given a colleague a salary increase without the governing body’s approval.

The 57-year-old was appointed principal of the school in 2008 and her introduction of a new uniform in 2009 led to student protests.

She was suspended from the school in 2013 and has since set up a teacher recruitment and consultancy company in Wirral called Red Apple Education.

At the misconduct hearing Miss Walsh admitted that in May 2013 she had used the chairman's electronic signature without his permission to write a mortgage salary reference for herself.

On April 20 a board of two teacher panelists and a lay panelist judged Miss Walsh to be ‘dishonest’.

The panel said: “She was deliberately trying to cut corners by not involving the chair of governors and, in effect, had self-certified her salary in circumstances where this was not permitted.”

In 2014, Miss Walsh told another member of staff at the school that she had been absent in France during term time in order to scatter the ashes of her mother-in-law and father-in-law.

However, it was suggested to her that she had actually taken the trip to purchase a house as emails from her school email account to a French property official were discovered.

Miss Walsh admitted this and said she was embarrassed she had not told the truth.

The hearing also concluded that in September 2012, when the school was running a £630,000 deficit and staff were being made redundant, Miss Walsh gave a colleague a salary increase without the approval of the governing body.

The panel said: “In these circumstances, it was particularly important for Miss Walsh to ensure that proper rigour was applied to all financial decisions.

“In the view of the panel, her approach was at best cavalier.”

While the panel said Miss Walsh had a good record and positive references, they advised that she should be prohibited from teaching indefinitely and may apply for the prohibition order to be lifted in five years.

Kieran Walshe, the chair of Lymm High School’s governing body, said: “We are glad to see these matters, which date from 2012-13, brought to a proper conclusion and we welcome the decision of the Secretary of State.

“We would like to thank everyone – staff, governors, parents, students and the wider community – who has worked so hard over the last three years to move on from those very difficult times.

“Under the leadership of Gwyn Williams as head teacher, the school is now progressing well, securing the best examination results in Warrington last year and having a renewed sense of its purpose and place in the community.

“We had many more applications for Year 7 in September 2016 than we had places, though we are pleased to say that we have still accommodated all applications from children at our partner primary schools.

“But there is still much more to do, and the governors and head teacher believe that our very able and well-motivated students are capable of even greater things in the future.”