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Regret over false contract for visa

A teacher who created a false contract to help a friend leave the Philippines and get a job in London has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

Edison David drew up the document stating that Westminster council would subsidise his friend's flights and pay for his accommodation when he took up a job at George Eliot junior school in St John's Wood, north London.

Mr David, who is also from the Philippines, was already working at the school and knew the council did not offer such deals. He admitted fabricating the document to deceive the Overseas Workers Association of the Philippines, but told England's General Teaching Council that he was not guilty of unacceptable professional conduct. "I'm fully aware that what I have done is wrong and I have paid a high price for it," said Mr David in a statement to the disciplinary hearing.

"I still find myself waking up and regretting the day I signed that document. I love my profession and during my time at George Eliot I only gave my best."

Mr David resigned in October 2004 after the school learned about the false contract when the friend accidentally handed it in when he arrived for work.

An investigation found that Mr David, who had flown to the Philippines to hand over the "contract", had not intended to deceive the council or school, but help his friend by deceiving the overseas authorities. At the time of the investigation he said: "I thought I was doing the school a big favour by facilitating the arrival of a person already appointed to the school."

Mr David is now teaching Year 2 pupils at Vauxhall primary in Lambeth, south London, where he is the maths subject leader and geography co-ordinator.

Shirley Wilson, its head, praised his initiative and support for his colleagues.

Anne Garner, who chaired the disciplinary hearing in Birmingham last week, said that Mr David had acted dishonestly, but she said: "We are satisfied that this is an isolated incident and we have taken into account the remorse shown by him.

"Although his actions were clearly misguided, we do have some sympathy for the reasons behind him doing so - namely that he wanted to help his friend take up his position."

The reprimand will stay on Mr David's record for two years.

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