Scots teacher who embezzled cash from school and caught pulling a sickie struck off

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A SCOTS P.E. teacher who embezzled £1,400 of school cash was caught pulling a sickie after images surfaced of him playing futsal in Belgium.

Andrew Stavert has been struck off by the General Teaching Council for Scotland [GTCS] after being convicted in March 2019 of embezzling the cash.

The 27-year-old was investigated by Dalkeith High School in East Lothian in 2018 after collecting money for a school trip to Manchester.

School staff requested for the money for the trip to be transferred over to them for banking.

However, within days of being questioned about the funds, Stavert handed in a sick line for five weeks.

Scots PE teacher who embezzled money from school and lied about sickness struck off - Scottish News
Pictured: Andrew Stavert
Copyright – University of Edinburgh Futsal Facebook page.

During his absence it was discovered that he was in fact in Belgium playing futsal with the University of Edinburgh Futsal team.

Images taken while on the trip to Antwerp four weeks later show Stavert, who is originally from the Scottish borders, and the rest of the team in various squad photos.

Stavert was tagged in various Facebook images and can be seen standing proudly at the centre of some of the images.

Stavert, who captained the futsal team, was pictured with the rest of his team mates as they played in the PCU University Games 2018.

Scots PE teacher who embezzled money from school and lied about sickness struck off - Scottish News
Atavert pictured at top far right during his team’s trip to Belgium. 
Copyright – University of Edinburgh Futsal Facebook page.

In March of 2019, Stavert was then convicted at the Edinburgh Sheriff Court of embezzling amounts totalling £1,400 from the school.

Due to his embezzlement conviction, Stavert was given community service work and ordered to complete 70 hours of unpaid work.

After this Stavert was then pulled in front of a fitness to teach panel by the GTCS in November of last year.

The charges held against him read: “On 13 March 2019, the teacher was convicted in Edinburgh Sheriff Court of the following offence:

“While employed as a teacher at Dalkeith High School, 2 Cousland Road, Dalkeith embezzle £1,400 of money.

“Between 23 March 2018 and 7 May 2018,while employed as a Newly Qualified Teacher in the PE department at Dalkeith High School and while absent from the school on sickness absence, [Stavert] attended and competed in a futsal tournament in Antwerp.

Scots PE teacher who embezzled money from school and lied about sickness struck off - Scottish News
Atavert pictured at the front, again during their trip to Belgium
Copyright – University of Edinburgh Futsal Facebook page.

“And took part in a number of other sports activities with the University of Edinburgh Futsal Team.

“The teacher’s actions…were dishonest.

“And in light of the above it is alleged that the teacher’s fitness to teach is impaired and he is unfit to teach.”

The initial hearing was originally held in November of last year with Stavert admitting all allegations and consenting to a removal order.

According to the findings, Stavert also expressed his desire to no longer pursue a career in teaching.

Scots PE teacher who embezzled money from school and lied about sickness struck off - Scottish News
Pictured: Dalkeith High School

In their findings, the GTCS said: “He not only criminally embezzled funds, he dishonestly claimed sick leave during which he took part in team sporting activities.

“His actions were premeditated and demonstrated a lack of integrity.

“The misconduct fell significantly short of the standards expected and was fundamentally incompatible with being a registered teacher so as to make him unfit to teach.”

Stavert campaigned to have the findings by the GTCS silenced.

However his attempts were scuppered by the teaching body who published their decision and findings yesterday.

Futsal is a football game played on court and mainly indoors and bears a close resemblance to five-a-side football.

The game’s emphasis is on improvisation, creativity and technique.