The Western Daily Press is reporting that a local primary school headmistress who fiddled SATS results after her school came under threat of being turned into an academy has been banned from the classroom for life.
Rehana Siraj-Allan, 56, tampered with her pupils’ Key Stage 2 Standard Assessment Tests in reading and maths, the panel found.
The head, who had been at the school for 12 years, had achieved good results after taking over the failing inner-city Easton Church of England Primary School in Bristol.
But results had “reached a plateau” and the school was at risk of being turned into an academy which both she and others at the school were strongly resisting.
As a muslim, her appointment to the Church of England school led to several governors resigning in protest.
Mrs Siraj-Allan had been described as “a leading light” and “genuine, hard working and committed” when she took over.
She had denied tampering with the papers but admitted she failed to keep them secure and allowed other teachers to review them before they were sent off.
She also sought to blame others.
But the professional conduct panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership found she “dishonestly” amended Year 6 pupils’ test papers and banned her from teaching indefinitely.
It found all the amendments were the work of one person and only Mrs Siraj-Allan had the opportunity to do it.
Chair Fiona Tankard said: “In addition, the panel was of the view that Mrs Siraj-Allan was under severe pressure at the time, as there was a risk of the school being forced to become an academy, which she and others involved in the school were strongly resisting.
“She had every motivation to ensure that the attainment level of her pupils showed improvement, in order to avoid this risk…
Read the NCTL prohibition order in full:[pdf-embedder url=”https://4cpa373vsw6v3t1suthjdjgv-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Web_Decision_-_Siraj-Allen__Rehana.pdf”]
It is difficult not to empathise with the pressure, but surely there can be no excuse for behaving like this?
Personally, I don’t understand why cheating in schools isn’t seen as a criminal offence rather than just professional misconduct.
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link