Coded pat on head leads to a hard slap on wrist

17th February 2006 at 00:00
A maths teacher with more than 30 years experience has been suspended for two years after helping his year six students to cheat in a national test.

Ian Byng, who taught at Menston primary near Ilkley, West Yorkshire, was found guilty by England's General Teaching Council of unacceptable professional conduct for his behaviour during a key stage 2 maths test.

The disciplinary hearing was told that Mr Byng, who was the school's KS2 manager, gave pupils verbal and physical prompts during the test in May 2004.

He patted children on the head to indicate that they had done well and was heard saying "think" or "check" and "No, it's a division, not a takeaway.

We did this in class".

Louise Ford, one of four learning support teachers present during the test, was alarmed by Mr Byng's behaviour and reported it to the headteacher.

Mr Byng denied any wrongdoing, and claimed that he had only given "encouragement" to the pupils.

The Sats maths results were annulled for the whole of year six and the disciplinary hearing was told that the school was still suffering a bad reputation due to the initial bad press response to the incident.

Mr Byng was neither present nor represented at the hearing in Birmingham this week.

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