Training for teacher who helped pupils cheat

A 65-year-old teacher accused of helping his class to cheat in national tests has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

England's General Teaching Council heard that Gordon Collinson pointed to and whispered some of the answers in the key stage 2 science test. At one stage he rubbed his hands together to denote friction.

Anne Madden, chair of the disciplinary hearing, said he had shown no regret and had offered no apology, nor the appropriate standards of honesty and integrity.

"These are national tests and such conduct undermines confidence in this national system," she said. The disciplinary hearing decided though that Mr Collinson was a competent teacher and should be allowed to carry on teaching.

But he will not be able to invigilate on his own and must take training in exams and invigilation and tell future employers of the conditions of his registration as a teacher.

Mr Collinson was not present or represented at last week's hearing in Birmingham but in a brief statement said: "The children began to look stressed and I decided to indicate a route out of this."

He taught at St Margaret's Church of England juniors in Rainham, Kent, and was solely responsible for administering and invigilating the KS2 science test in May 2004.

Several pupils reported that he had helped them in the test. Following the allegations, the children were given their levels but their results were annulled.

Colin Gabbett, headteacher, believes the school, which has won the Investors in People standard as well as a school achievement award in 2003, was the first to offer Mr Collinson a permanent job.

"He gave the indication that he was more settled with us than in previous posts," he said.

But in his statement to the disciplinary hearing, Mr Collinson said he had become increasingly unhappy, was dissatisfied at work and that concerns about pupil behaviour had led to ill-health.

Mr Gabbett said: "Mr Collinson did not make me aware of his concerns about pupil behaviour. If children had become difficult, I would have known. We have a very clearly-defined behaviour policy."

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