Press release

Convicted fake teacher given maximum employment agency ban

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Former director of a Coventry supply teaching agency today given maximum 10 year ban from being involved in running an employment agency

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A former director of a Coventry supply teaching agency was today given the maximum 10 year ban from running or being involved in running an employment agency.

The ban follows the conviction of Steven Lee Bartlett of fraud and child sexual offences and legal action brought against him by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EAS), part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Bartlett is currently serving an indeterminate prison sentence.

Birmingham Employment Tribunal heard on Wednesday 28 August that Bartlett, director of Supplied Recruitment Limited, operated as an employment business, supplying temporary teachers to schools. He also carried out a number of temporary assignments himself to a school in Coventry as either a supply teaching assistant or a supply teacher, using fake qualifications.

Bartlett was arrested in September 2010 and was convicted in April 2011.

Jo Swinson Employment Relations Minister said:

This is a shocking case. It is appalling behaviour for any person to abuse a child in their care, but even more so when that person is pretending to be a teacher to fraudulently assume a position of responsibility and supply himself to schools through his own agency.

It is only right that this person has been given the maximum ban along with a prison sentence. This ruling shows we will always take the strongest action available and this should serve as a warning to anyone who abuses their position or thinks they will get away with faking qualifications.

Bartlett did not attend the ruling.

Notes to editors

  1. A criminal case brought by the police was heard on 28 February 2011 before the Coventry Crown Court and the defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud related to the income that he secured between February 2007 and July 2010 through falsely representing himself to be a qualified teacher. The defendant also pleaded guilty to eight counts of engaging in sexual activity with a male child aged under 16 and one count of causing or inciting a male child aged under 16 to engage in sexual activity.

  2. On 7 April 2011 the defendant was sentenced on the nine counts to an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection with a minimum term of 30 months to be served before consideration for release, the sentences to run concurrently. He was also sentenced to 12 months imprisonment on each of the two counts of fraud, the sentences to run concurrently.

  3. Steven Lee Bartlett was prohibited under section 3A(1) of the Employment Agencies Act 1973.

  4. The Employment Agency Standards (EAS) inspectorate is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and enforces the legislation. The Inspectorate carries out inspections of agencies on the basis of perceived risk of non-compliance and investigates complaints about agency conduct.

  5. Agencies that break the law could face prosecution and be subject to unlimited fines for the most serious offences. Rogue agencies could also be banned from operating for up to ten years.

  6. Guidance and further information about the requirements for employment agencies can be found here

  7. Anyone who wishes to make a complaint about the conduct of an employment agency or seek further information can contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline - 0800 917 2368.

  8. The EAS produces a list of prohibited people who have been banned from running an employment agency or business due to misconduct or unsuitability.

  9. The BIS consultation into reforming the regulatory framework for the recruitment sector closed on 11 April 2013 and the government’s response on the way forward was published on 12 July 2013.

  10. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’, published at Budget 2011:

    • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 28 August 2013