‘Safeguarding’ teacher allowed vulnerable pupil to keep pills

City Academy Norwich.

City Academy Norwich. - Credit: Archant

A former Norwich teacher has been allowed to remain in the profession after a panel decided his safeguarding errors were 'out of character' and unlikely to happen again.

Maxwell Kitson-Cook, who was an assistant vice principal and designated safeguarding lead at the City Academy Norwich, was sacked by the school in October 2019. 

A teachers’ disciplinary panel heard it followed allegations he allowed a vulnerable pupil who had been hospitalised a month before after consuming 16 tramadol tablets, to keep a blister pack of paracetamol.

Later the same day the student consumed all the tablets and had to be rushed to hospital by ambulance. 

Mr Kitson-Cook admitted he had failed to take appropriate action and had not informed the pupil’s parents after finding the pills. 

The panel decided against banning Mr Kitson-Cook from teaching stating that his actions were “completely out of character'' and “the risk of repetition was extremely low”. 

TRA decision maker Alan Meyrick said: “The panel did not consider there to be a continuing risk in respect of Mr Kitson-Cook continuing to teach.”

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The Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) panel did find though he had “made a serious error of judgement in accepting Pupil A’s explanation that he required the pack of six to eight paracetamol as pain relief for an injury”.

He failed to follow an important part of a safety plan for an “extremely vulnerable pupil” which amounted to “misconduct of a serious nature”, the panel added.

City Academy Norwich.

City Academy Norwich. - Credit: Archant

In a separate incident Mr Kitson-Cook was also alleged to have been aware that the pupil had left a knife and a note in the wellbeing zone of the school but had not notified the police or authorities.

Mr Kitson-Cook, who denied his actions were inappropriate, instead agreed with another member of staff that the knife be stored in a locked room and the boy’s mother be informed to take him to A&E. 

The incident was also recorded in the school’s safeguarding log.

Members of the disciplinary panel found that this did not amount to a failure to take appropriate action.

However Mr Kitson-Cook later failed to disclose relevant information in an email to another member of staff when he wrote ‘I’ll catch up with you next week but it wasn’t a knife’, which the panel said was “misleading”.