Primary school teacher who was suffering with Covid as she gave FIVE lessons to children while waiting for her test result avoids classroom ban
- Saira Taylor, 37, had five classes at Kitchener Primary School in Riverside, Cardiff
- She taught for five days while waiting for Covid test result and displaying cough
- When test came back positive she did not return to school and told head teacher
A primary school teacher who taught classes for five days while unknowingly infected with Covid has avoided being struck off the register.
Saira Taylor, 37, put pupils and staff at risk by teaching lessons at Kitchener Primary School in Riverside, Cardiff, while waiting for the results of her coronavirus test, an Education Workforce Council heard.
The supply teacher continued teaching five classes despite showing symptoms of the virus, including coughing, which was noticed by other teachers, the hearing was told.
When Ms Taylor’s test came back positive, she immediately informed headteacher Reena Patel, who then sent a message to parents saying she was ‘devastated and angry’ at the teacher’s actions.
Ms Taylor did not return to the school after receiving her diagnosis in November 2020.
The Council found five misconduct claims proved against Ms Taylor – but she was allowed to return to the classroom.
Saira Taylor (pictured), 37, students put and staff at risk by teaching at Kitchener Primary School in Riverside, Cardiff, while waiting for the results of her coronavirus lessons, an Education Workforce Council heard
The supply teacher continued giving a total of five classes despite showing symptoms of the virus, including coughing, which was noticed by other teachers, the hearing was told. (Pictured: Kitchener Primary School in Cardiff)
Presenting officer Ashanti-Jade Walton explained staff members observed Ms Taylor coughing which was not reported to the school at the time.
Head teacher Ms Patel sent a video sent to parents to notify them of the five classes which could not attend the following day in order to allow them to isolate.
She said: ‘If Saira Taylor had any Covid-19 symptoms she should have alerted the school as soon as possible and self-isolated until she received the results of her test.
‘I was made aware by three teaching assistants that they had observed Saira Taylor coughing in the staff room on Wednesday, October 21. I was not aware of this at that time.
‘She did put the five classes and their families and our staff members at great risk and caused a lot of anxiety as well.’
A statement from Ms Taylor said: ‘When I received the result I did not return to school after receiving a positive test.’
She blamed the delay on ‘sickness and poor judgment.’
The hearing in Cardiff ruled she put colleagues and learners at the school at risk and that her actions constitute unacceptable professional conduct meaning ‘conduct falls short of the standard expected of a registered person’.
Chairman Steve Powell told the hearing Ms Taylor ‘had a good teaching record’ and decided against striking her off.
When Ms Taylor’s test came back positive, she immediately informed headteacher Reena Patel (pictured), who then sent a message to parents saying she was ‘devastated and angry’ at the teacher’s actions.
But it put a reprimand on her record for two years.
He said: ‘Ms Taylor has made a number of admissions and admitted serious shortcomings on her part and has taken action to remediate her shortcomings.
‘The committee is of the view that a reprimand is appropriate and proportionate and imposes this order.
‘It does not affect the person’s registration but remains on the register for a period of two years.
‘It will be disclosed to an employer or a prospective employer as part of pre-employment checks on registration.’