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London - A primary school head has been banned from teaching after she kept porn on her phone, fiddled exam results and stole from a PTA fund.

Catherine Jones, 42, was praised for her ‘outstanding’ leadership just four years ago by Ofsted.

But she was hiding a catalogue of offences, including storing explicit images on her work iPhone, a misconduct panel found. She also took £350 from a PTA collection to help pay her mortgage and altered pupils’ marks in SATs to falsely improve her school’s results.

Banning her for life, the panel found she had ‘seriously undermined public confidence in the exam system’ and showed a ‘lack of remorse’.

In 2014, inspectors gave Stoneleigh Academy in Oldham, Greater Manchester, a ‘good’ rating overall, singling out Mrs Jones for praise. ‘The headteacher has created a strong staff team who are driving up standards quickly,’ they said.

The married mother of two became head at Stoneleigh in 2012 after previously working as a history teacher at the school, which is now called Willowpark Primary Academy.

But in 2016, concerns were raised about her behaviour by two colleagues and she was suspended pending an investigation.

The misconduct panel found that when she was given a new work iPhone in June 2015, she asked an IT apprentice to back up her previous phone’s pictures to her laptop.

The technician said that ‘when backing up the device, he had seen images of an explicit sexual nature’. Mrs Jones also used the phone to criticise other teachers, texting a colleague ‘personal information about members of staff and inappropriate and derogatory comments’. She posted jokes in poor taste and vulgar comments on her Facebook page, along with strong personal and political opinions, it was reported.

The panel, sitting in Coventry, heard from a witness that Mrs Jones had admitted taking cash from the PTA collection in June 2013.

A fund of between £800 and £900 that had been raised at a PTA fair was taken to the head’s office and locked in a cupboard. A day or so later, the witness said Mrs Jones told her that she had taken £350 to help with her mortgage, and that she would repay it later that month.

But the panel heard this did not happen, and when the witness asked more than 18 months later if the money could be repaid so items could be purchased for a Christmas fair, Mrs Jones replied that she would ‘sort it’. But the head then admitted that she didn’t have the money, and instead gave the witness the academy’s credit card.

The panel also heard how the headteacher allowed friends and family to attend trips, including to Manchester United football matches, paid for with school funds.

Mrs Jones, from Oldham, did not attend the hearing, held between June 5 and 7. The panel found that her conduct included ‘serious dishonesty – theft of school resources and cheating in national exams’.

Alan Meyrick, for the Education Secretary Damien Hinds, said the seriousness of her offences meant she should be banned for life from teaching with no prospect of review.

Former headteacher Chris McGovern, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘It’s deplorable conduct and one of the worst cases I’ve heard of. Here we have someone in a position of responsibility and they should be setting an example of good behaviour to pupils.’

Mrs Jones was unavailable for comment at her home yesterday.