A CHEATING teacher has been struck off the teaching register for three months after giving two pupils false extra marks enabling them to pass an assessment.
Scott Shields, a business management teacher at Galashiels Academy in the Scottish borders, provided false information to the Scottish Qualifications Authorty (SQA) regarding two pupils’ NAB assessments.
He was exposed when one of the pupils reported the incident to her pastoral teacher during a “re-coursing” interview - after Mr Shields had informed the two pupils of his actions, and asked them to keep quiet.
Suspecting he might be under investigation, Mr Shields sent one of the pupils and her family a letter - by recorded delivery - asking them to withdraw the allegations against him.
However, despite ruling today that the allegation that he had falsified the NAB results was proved, members of the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s Fitness to Teach Panel found that Mr Shields actions were “out of character” and carried out “in an attempt to assist the two pupils”.
In relation to the letter, the panel found that Mr Shields sent it at a time where he was “under stress”.
During Mr Shields’ three-day hearing at the beginning of June, he admitted that there were “a couple of marks” he would not now have awarded when marking the pupils’ NAB - meaning that at the time he believed at the time they had genuinely passed - despite the fact that two other teachers who re-marked the same papers and were clear that the pupils had failed.
The General Teaching Council Panel determined that Mr Shield’s conduct was fundamentally incompatible with being a registered teacher and therefore have removed him from the register for three months.
The report of the hearing stated that his conduct fell significantly short of the standards expected of a registered teacher - in which he failed to maintain honesty and integrity - which are essential elements of teaching.
After breaching several elements of the General Teaching Council’s Scottish code, the panel decided that Mr Shields was unfit to teach.
However, the panel accepted that prior to the allegations of this case, Mr Shields was held in high regard by colleagues and pupils and therefore was unlikely to repeat such conduct.
He was ordered to be struck from the register, but permitted to re-apply for restoration in three months.
He has 28 days in which to appeal.
The incident occurred in 2010, when the pupils were taking an Information Technology for Management Course.
A NAB is a term used to describe an end-of-unit assessment that pupils must pass before sitting an external exam, and is short for National Assessment Bank. NAB tests are provided by the SQA, but delivered and marked internally by subject teachers.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Borders Council said tonight: “This matter was fully investigated by the council and appropriate action was taken. We cannot comment further on an individual case.”