Banned: Teacher who faked QTS numeracy skills test pass

Panel tells Louise McKiernan she should show ‘genuine remorse’ and legitimately gain QTS if she wants teaching ban lifted

Martin George

Louise McKiernan has been banned from teaching.

A teacher who faked a document saying she had passed the numeracy skills test needed to gain qualified teacher status has been banned from the profession.

Louise McKiernan told St Peter Chanel Catholic Primary School, in Sidcup, Kent, she had QTS when she applied for a job as a classroom teacher in June 2016.

The 30-year-old started teaching there in September 2016, but the school was unable to register her as a newly qualified teacher because she was not recorded as having attained QTS.

A report from the Teaching Regulation Agency says she admitted falsifying a document recording that she had passed the numeracy skills test and providing false information about the agency where she claimed to have taken it.

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It adds that the document she produced “differed from the template letter produced by the test centre in a number of ways including format and content”.

An extensive search of the test centre’s systems tried to see if she had passed the test using a different name, address or email address, but could not find any record of her passing.

The report adds: “It was evidenced that Ms McKiernan had taken the numeracy test on a number of occasions using different email addresses, more recently on 19 June 2019.”

She also admitted providing false information about the agency where she had allegedly sat the numeracy skills test.

She resigned from the school in January 2018.

The report says: “The panel found that Ms McKiernan has been responsible for repeatedly acting dishonestly in claiming that she had QTS status to which she was not entitled, in which she had been formally advised by the Department for Education on 20 December 2016.

“Ms McKiernan apologised for her actions.

“The panel noted that she has obtained further employment as a teacher since then, on the basis of misleading her employer into believing that she had QTS status, when she does not.

“The panel noted that QTS status gives access to the main pay scale for teachers and we heard from Witness 2 that Ms McKiernan was remunerated as if she was a properly qualified teacher.”

Ms McKiernan’s former headteacher told the panel that she was “a good teacher, she had good relationships with pupils and colleagues and was well thought of”, and that she responded well to feedback in appraisals.

She also had a positive reference from a school she had worked at in China.

The panel recommended that she should be banned from teaching, but could apply for the ban to lifted after three years.

The report adds: “The panel suggested that on application to set aside Ms McKiernan may need to demonstrate: sufficient insight into her past actions and consequences on the profession and other people, genuine remorse, that she has been honest with subsequent employers and that she has legitimately acquired QTS status.”

Alan Meyrick, who made the final decision on behalf of the education secretary, accepted the panel’s recommendations.

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Martin George

Martin George

Martin George is a reporter at Tes

Find me on Twitter @geomr

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