Woman tried to cover up sacking and make fresh start

23rd June 2006 at 01:00
A teacher already reprimanded for altering Sats results has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct for falsely claiming she had resigned from her previous teaching job.

Funmilayo Nejo has become the first teacher in the country to be brought before England's General Teaching Council while already serving a conditional registration order.

Three years ago, she was banned from invigilating exams after she admitted altering key stage 1 spelling tests at Keyworth primary, Southwark, south London. Mrs Nejo was dismissed from the job she had held at the school since 1992, in June 2002.

Her attempt to sue the school for unfair dismissal failed.

This week, the hearing in Birmingham was told that Mrs Nejo heard from a friend that Fenstanton primary, Lambeth, south London, was looking for teachers.

Mrs Nejo was invited to meet the head , Sally Hindle. Mrs Nejo said: "She seemed really pleased to meet me and wanted to take me on. I did think about telling her what had happened but I wanted to let the past be past and make a fresh start." After working part time at Fenstanton, she was taken on full time in November 2002, claiming she had resigned from her previous job.

Throughout the hearing, Mrs Nejo, who represented herself, maintained she believed that she had resigned from Keyworth and that she had not knowingly lied on her application form. The inquiry heard that Mrs Nejo had written a letter of resignation prior to proceedings for dismissal.

But the GTC committee ruled that Mrs Nejo had knowingly and falsely claimed she resigned from her job, as she had received a letter from her then headteacher rejecting her resignation.

Andrew Faux, presenting officer, said it was to Mrs Nejo's credit that she had complied with her original conditional registration order, which said she must not invigilate exams and must complete an exam training course.

Mr Faux also pointed to the fact that Fenstanton primary offered to give her a reference when she left the school in 2004.

The committee decided that, because Mrs Nejo had not broken the conditions of her original order, a reprimand was an appropriate sanction for the new offence.

This formal warning - the least severe sanction that the GTC can pass for unacceptable professional conduct - will stay on Miss Nejo's record for two years.

Mrs Nejo, who is not currently teaching, told the hearing: "I have taught in this country for 10 years and before that I taught for 15 years abroad.

Teaching is the only job I know."

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