Teacher banned from job after doing part of pupil’s GCSE for them
| Last updated
A teacher has been banned from teaching 'indefinitely' after admitting to submitting her own work within a pupil's GCSE.
However, on 8 August, 2021 the 40-year-old resigned after becoming embroiled in an investigation which saw her admit to submitting her own work as part of a pupil's Geography GCSE.
The Teaching Regulation Agency has since released details of its investigation.
Hardman was accused by the school of 'unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute,' during the 2020-21 academic year.
According to the allegations listed in the Teacher Regulation Agency document, Hardman allegedly submitted two pieces of her own work as part of a pupil's three-piece assessment.
The teacher also faced several other allegations, accused of having: "Informed the school the moderation of [the pupil's] work was completed before the submission deadline when in fact [the pupil's] work had not been moderated prior to the submission deadline.
"[And] informed the school [the pupil's] work had been completed in February 2021 under exam conditions when in fact she was working remotely from home."
Lastly, the Geography teacher was accused of leaving exam papers 'insecurely stored' in classrooms and of lacking 'integrity' and being 'dishonest'.
Hardman admitted she submitted work as part of pupil's assessment which was not theirs, however she argued to the agency it wasn't 'intentional'.
She said she included 'an exemplar piece of work that she had completed' but says she did so 'in error,' creating Word documents and allegedly accidentally copying and pasting the exemplar document she produced opposed to the pupil's own work.
However, the panel dismissed Hardman's reasoning, with two witnesses also coming forward to deny ever seeing the pupil's work on Hardman or the pupil's Microsoft Teams accounts. Nor had the pupil's work been archived or deleted, according to a member of the IT department.
'The panel were therefore satisfied 'on the balance of probabilities' two out of three pieces of work submitted by Hardman for the pupil's Geography GCSE had been completed by her and not the student.
Hardman denied 'insecurely' storing exam papers, claiming she left the 'completed and uncompleted functional skills papers within an unlocked cupboard in a locked classroom'.
However, all allegations against Hardman were 'found proved' by the regulation agency which resolved 'to the standards of ordinary decent people' the teacher's conduct had been 'dishonest'.
The report staes: "The Panel considered that the public would expect teachers to afford equal priority to all pupils, subjects and qualifications they teach.
"The panel agreed that to knowingly put a subject, qualification and pupil on the 'backburner' demonstrates a lack of integrity.
"The panel considered Ms Hardman to have knowingly breached the policies and procedures of the School and had not adhered to the ethical standards of the teaching profession."
It resolved there 'was no evidence that the teacher's actions were not deliberate,' noting Hardman admitted herself she was 'panicked' after leaving the Geography Teaching Assessment Grades so late.
The panel said: "Ms Hardman has stated that her behaviour fell significantly below the professional standards required of her. Ms Hardman’s legal representative further stated that, in light of the panel’s findings, Ms Hardman accepts that prohibition 'is not inappropriate.' During the hearing, Ms Hardman recognised the implications of her conduct on Pupil A and her colleagues.
"[She] … accepted that she had demonstrated a degree of insight and remorse as to the consequences of her behaviour on Pupil A and her colleagues. However, throughout the hearing she maintained that her conduct was not dishonest but was the result of mistakes she had made."
Taking into consideration the public interest in the profession, Marc Cavy - a decision maker named on behalf of the Secretary of State - resolved Hardman was 'guilty of unacceptable professional conduct' and prohibited her from teaching 'indefinitely' at any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children's home in England.
However, Hardman can apply for the prohibition order to be lifted in two years time on 31 July, 2025.