A NEWLY-QUALIFIED teacher who took maternity-related leave three times, twice to give birth to twins, was caught out when her school discovered she had never been pregnant.
Alison Le Mar, who worked at Oaks infants' school in Sittingbourne, Kent, was struck off the teaching register this week by England's General Teaching Council. Miss Le Mar repeatedly told Theresa Mills, her headteacher, she was pregnant between September 2001 and September 2005.
The committee heard the primary school put in a series of measures to support Miss Le Mar, who did not attend the hearing.
When she told the school she was 20 weeks pregnant with twins in 2002, a teaching assistant was put in her classroom. Ten weeks later she said she had given birth to twin girls but they had died after 10 days. She returned to work part-time in the September term and took a series of days off for medical appointments.
In 2004 the teacher again announced she was 20 weeks pregnant with twins and was referred to occupational health. She then said she lost the twin boys in a car crash that had caused her to suffer whiplash. In July that year she again said she was pregnant and arrangements were made to cover her class. She was later to tell the head she gave birth to a son at 30 weeks who died of a heart defect two days later.
Miss Le Mar resigned from her position in 2005 after it was found from her GP she had no recorded history of pregnancy.
Allan Deacon of the ATL teachers' union, who represented her, said: "I cannot imagine the despair Miss Le Mar felt with longing to have a baby.
There was no malice behind her actions.
"The school behaved commendably, but regrettably the warmth and support she found from the school fed her fantasy. She did let the school down but she was a good teacher and she also let herself down."
The committee said that it had taken into account the fact Miss Le Mar was a very able teacher, her expressions of regret and the progress she has madeJafter the incidents.
But it said, in a statement, that her deception merited removal from the register because it had "involved telling many lies to the school and to colleagues".