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Teacher guilty of coursework lies

A teacher who was accused of completing GCSE coursework for her pupils has been found guilty of professional misconduct by the General Teaching Council for England.

Elizabeth Sani, formerly of St Peter's school in Huntington, Cambridgeshire, was given a conditional registration order for completing written and practical work in textiles.

Under the order, she can continue teaching but must be monitored on a termly basis by a senior member of staff.

Miss Sani must also comply with examination regulations relating to the courses she teaches.

She was suspended in May 2003 after a colleague who was moderating coursework raised doubts about the origin of up to 12 students' work. Miss Sani was dismissed last August following an investigation.

She initially admitted to changing pupils' work in line with her own expectations of their ability, but later denied it.

One student, known as pupil J, was helped by Miss Sani when she failed to complete coursework due to illness.

David Furniss, headteacher, said she admitted adding pieces to pupil J's folder.

He said: "She claimed that some of the work had been compiled with the knowledge and consent of pupil J, other pieces had been compiled between the two of them and, quite confusingly, others were her interpretation of the student's ideas."

Miss Sani had admitted in a statement during the investigation that "my actions in terms of completing work for them was a misjudgment".

Pupil J confirmed that eight pages of work in her folder were not her own.

Mr Furniss said the irregularities "could potentially have caused serious consequences which could have endangered the life chances of several children".

Miss Sani, who came to England from Ghana more than 20 years ago, denied completing work for pupils. She said language difficulties meant she had unwittingly admitted to the charge instead of telling the inquiry she just assisted pupils.

She said her upbringing did not allow her to question figures in authority and that she could not stand up for herself.

However, Miss Sani admitted providing sample pieces and templates for students to use but she had been unable to remove these from folders before the moderating teacher took them.

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