The Birmingham Mail is reporting that a local teacher helped pupils cheat their SATs and her headteacher husband then tried to cover up the scandal by intimidating whistleblowers – who were dubbed ‘the three witches’.
Beverley and Robin Reynolds may now face a lifetime classroom ban after being found guilty of professional misconduct and bringing the teaching profession into disrepute while working at Woodgate Primary School, Bartley Green.
The National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) upheld allegations made against Mrs Reynolds concerning maths and reading SATs exams taken at the school in 2011 and 2012.
She told pupils answers and instructed staff to erase incorrect ones. She also gave students extra time and allowed them to compare answers – and told a former school receptionist to “stall” the exam moderator if they arrived.
When three teaching assistants blew the whistle on the senior teacher, her headteacher husband attempted to cover-up the cheating and pressured them to lie to Standards and Testing Agency (STA) investigators.
While he did not himself amend mental arithmetic and reading SATs papers, he allowed them to be sent to examining invigilators knowing they had been altered, the NCTL said.
He was also found to have “improperly” investigated his wife’s behaviour, while failing to protect teaching assistants Catherine Whitehouse, Lorraine Carr and Lorraine Foden after they raised their concerns over the exam fraud.
The NCTL heard how Mrs Reynolds dubbed the teaching assistants “the three witches” and hurled a diary at Ms Carr – telling her she had a “cheek discussing with anyone what has gone on in my classroom.”
Mrs Reynolds was also found guilty of carrying a completed exam paper during the test in a way pupils could see it…
The panel will now make a recommendation to Education Secretary Nicky Morganwhether the pair should be banned from teaching – and they could suggest a lifetime ban…
Based on what is reported here, it is hard to imagine a more serious case of cheating and exam fraud, especially as colleagues were intimidated into keeping quiet about it.
What I don’t understand is why this is just being dealt with by a professional panel with a potential sanction of – shock, horror – a lifetime ban from teaching.
Shouldn’t it be the kind of activity that could get you sent to prison?
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