Teacher sacked after accusing colleagues of helping pupils to cheat in exams takes school to tribunal

The Manchester Evening News is reporting that a teacher who was sacked after accusing colleagues of helping pupils to cheat in exams has taken her former school to an employment tribunal.

Spanish teacher Elena Isherwood claims she was unfairly dismissed by Sale Grammar School after making allegations of exam malpractice in the modern foreign languages department. 

The school strongly deny her claims and insist no cheating took place. 

Mrs Isherwood made the allegations in a formal grievance submitted to head teacher, Mark Smallwood, and school governors in January 2013.

She claimed teachers had cheated in GCSE speaking and listening controlled assessments by allowing students to see a list of ‘unexpected’ questions beforehand…

Students had also complained to Mrs Isherwood about not receiving the same preparation as other classes, she told the hearing.

“My pupils were very angry because I didn’t allow them to do the same,” she added.

Mr Smallwood said he carried out a full investigation into Mrs Isherwood’s claims and found no evidence of malpractice within the department…

“What was happening was poor teaching. That’s not malpractice,” he told the tribunal…

“The issues were about performance in German, which was eventually phased out, and in some Spanish classes.”

Mr Smallwood said Mrs Isherwood’s ‘false and misleading allegations’ amounted to gross misconduct.

She was suspended in June 2013 and dismissed in November 2013.

The tribunal continues.

More at: Teacher sacked after accusing colleagues of helping pupils to cheat in exams takes school to tribunal


It will be interesting to see how this develops.


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  1. The full article and comments say AQA was informed.  Did AQA investigate?  Was the Standards and Assessment Agency informed?

    In any case, the head appears to have admitted there was ‘poor teaching’ but this wasn’t ‘malpractice’.  So what was it then?  And surely there can be no ‘poor teaching’ at a grammar?  Or so we’re led to believe

  2. Teacher62

    Nick5307 SchoolsImprove 
    You are so right…..  Cheating at this school has been going on for years. If the Headmaster found out that  it was poor teaching what did he do about it?
    Why did he consent poor teaching for so many years? what sort of headteacher consent poor teaching for so many years?

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