Ex-teacher banned from returning after 'fabricating' coursework

Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham, whose principal Mark Woodhouse is looking ahead following a tur

Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham, whose principal Mark Woodhouse is looking ahead following a turbulent period. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A former teacher who admitted "fabricating" the coursework of "at least five pupils" has been banned from the profession.

Lucinda Jones admitted to a Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) panel that she had acted dishonestly while working at Nicholas Hamond Academy in Swaffham.

The panel heard how in July 2019 she "fabricated" assessment work of pupils, submitted grades without evidence to back them up and gave pupils greater than the permitted amount of help with assignments.

And after ruling her actions had brought the profession into disrepute, the panel banned her from the classroom for the next five years.

A report published by the TRA stated that when questioned about the work, pupils were unaware of the changes Mrs Jones had made.

The report says: "The panel found that Mrs Jones knew that amending and adding to the pupils' assignments and submitting grades for incomplete and missing assignments was dishonest.

"A reasonable person would conclude that Mrs Jones' actions were dishonest in that if undiscovered they would have led to examinations being graded inaccurately.

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"She failed to maintain the standards that are required of her as a member of the teaching profession."

The misdemeanours were first detected on July 12, 2019, when the school's IT manager spotted "unusual activity" on its computer system, in that assignments were amended and resaved by Mrs Jones.

The school launched an investigation and suspended the results of the pupils affected by the changes, who were studying health and social care at sixth-form level.

Mrs Jones, who had worked at the school since April 2003, resigned on August 31, 2019. She served as the school's head of vocational education and as a teacher of humanities.

The report adds: "The panel found that Mrs Jones failed to demonstrate high standards of personal and professional conduct.

"Mrs Jones' actions potentially had a hugely detrimental impact on the pupils whose education journey was adversely affected.

"Mrs Jones failed to consider the wider implications and adverse impact of her actions on the pupils, the school and her colleagues."

At the time the investigation was launched, a spokesperson for Nicholas Hamond Academy said: "We reported an allegation of malpractice at the earliest possible stage and investigations are under way, including internally, relating to a former teacher."

The school did not wish to comment further on the case.