Friday, May 02, 2008

Spare the rod licence

Don't spoil the children:

A headmaster who was caught fishing with an out-of-date rod licence could lose his job for having a criminal record, it emerged yesterday.

Bob Yeomans condemned "child protection gone mad" after his conviction for forgetting to renew the permit was referred to a council employment panel.

His school is still waiting for clearance to keep him in his post due to bureaucracy described by his union as "petty and trivial".

Mr Yeomans, head of St John's Church of England Primary in Walsall, was caught by a water bailiff last summer while on a weekend fishing trip to the River Dove in Derbyshire and, horrified at the oversight, immediately pleaded guilty.

He later paid a £50 fine and £70 costs and considered it the end of the matter.

But almost a year later, the offence was flagged up by the Criminal Records Bureau following a routine background check.

"The chair of governors was notified that there could be an issue with a CRB check in the school and rang to tell me," Mr Yeomans said.

"I said 'is it a member of staff?' and he said, 'no, it's you'.

"I was shocked. He was being asked if I was fit to work with children for forgetting to renew my rod licence."

The chair of governors, following procedure, referred the matter to a local authority panel that decides whether staff can continue teaching.

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