Monday, 12 September 2011

Hackney teachers urged to falsify coursework marks, claim

Staff at Cardinal Pole school were urged by email to falsify GCSE coursework marks last term, Blood and Property has been told.

(The school and the trust have provided a response to these allegations)

Also, at a staff meeting attended by the school's head teacher, teachers were allegedly told that doctoring GCSE coursework marks was normal practice elsewhere and schools that didn't do it were "too honest".

This alleged advice sparked a vote of no confidence in the school's head teacher, Katharine Hartigan, as Blood and Property reported on 3 July. At the time the background to the dispute had not been revealed and it was still not public when the Hackney Gazette reported it (page 2, July 14).

The dispute threatened to end in a strike after the school's National Union of Teachers (NUT) representative was suspended - but the school withdrew the suspension.

Then, during the summer holidays, it was revealed that Cardinal Pole had achieved its "best ever" GCSE results.

Blood and Property put the allegations about teachers at Cardinal Pole being urged to doctor coursework results to the Learning Trust and to Hackney Council. They were asked to clarify or correct any of the alleged details in the account here.

The Learning Trust commented on behalf of the school and the council: "These matters have been looked into and there is no investigation at Cardinal Pole."

However a comment from the NUT about the conditions surrounding the suspension and the strike threat suggest that these issues are still being looked into.

In a statement issued in July, the union said: "From September the NUT will have a series of meetings with the head and Diocese of Westminster. These meetings will deal with the range of issues Peter (Domokos) was raising when he was suspended. These meetings will also address the issues which were the subject of the vote of No Confidence in the Head."

The chart below shows the percentage of pupils achieving 5 or more GCSEs at A-C including English and Maths in some of the borough's schools.

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