The former Head Teacher of Hermitage Academy, Donald Matheson, failed to appear at his disciplinary hearing before the General Teaching Council yesterday (9 March 2010).
The Daily Record, which covered the story tells how Matheson had a sick note, but sent his lawyer to protest his innocence. The hearing heard evidence in his absence from office manager Mrs. Maureen Purves.
Mrs. Purves gave evidence that in October 2003 an ice cream van moved into the grounds. She said: “Mr Matheson told us the ice cream man would be bringing in money on a regular basis.”
“They would come in on a Friday or whatever day was the end of that school week. It was always in denominations of £10 per day.”
Clerical assistant Ann Holmes gave evidence that Mr. Matheson gave her an envelope full of notes totalling £1,650 the day auditors showed up to examine the books in May 2005.
She said: “He said I was to be sure to bank this money that day and put it under donations from the ice cream van.”
Criminal fraud charges against Mr. Matheson were dropped in 2006 because of witness problems. That same day, he retired on full pension from his £70,000-a-year post at Hermitage.
None of which is in the least bit suspicious.
The hearing, which could decide to remove his name from the register of teachers altogether, continues.
I used to go to Hermitage Academy, though not during Mr. Matheson’s tenure. My favourite purchase from the ice-cream van was those little 5p bags of pickled onion crisps.