Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Cardinal Pole replies to coursework falsification claims

Katharine Hartigan, head teacher at Cardinal Pole school in Homerton and the Learning Trust, which runs Hackney's schools, have replied to allegations that staff at the school were asked to falsify coursework last term.

The allegations in the original story were put to the Learning Trust before it was published but Blood and Property only received this short response: “These matters have been looked into and there is no investigation at Cardinal Pole.”

Teachers at the school had passed a vote of no confidence in the head teacher and voted to strike over the issues reported. Also a statement from the NUT suggested that these issues were still being looked into. So the story was not just based on staff room gossip.

The dispute appears to have been sparked by the introduction of an assessment framework for teachers to follow when assessing pupils. Blood and Property will ask for details of this framework and whether other schools in the borough have them too. But thanks to the school and trust for replying.

This is the email from the Learning Trust:

"We are extremely disappointed by this article which questions the professionalism of staff at the school, and casts an unwarranted shadow over the excellent GCSE results of the students this summer.

"Staff were not encouraged to falsify GCSE coursework.

"As part of the drive to raise standards across the school, a new system was introduced for all staff which provided a consistent assessment framework for tracking and assessing pupil progress across the school."

Katharine Hartigan said: "Differing views were expressed regarding the new internal assessment framework and it is disappointing that comments are being taken out of context. I know my teachers are professional enough to disregard any comments which do not meet the very high standards we set ourselves as teachers.

"All matters have been resolved and the governing body, staff and unions are working together to continue to build a strong future for the school."

The Learning Trust said: "This matter has been looked into and no basis for investigation was found”.

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