Marker struck off after helping pupils to cheat on their exams

The marker was struck off after helping pupils to cheat.
The marker was struck off after helping pupils to cheat.
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A SECONDARY teacher and SQA exam marker has been struck off for helping pupils cheat.

Kirsty Parkes was sacked from her role at a high school in West Lothian in 2013 following an internal investigation.

The history teacher of eight years breached Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) rules by allowing pupils to take fully-written essays into exams and also providing them with essays beforehand.

Mrs Parkes, 36, claimed she was not aware of SQA guidance on quality assurance although she had been a marker with the exams body for four years.

Mrs Parkes, who is understood to have taught at Inveralmond Community High School, Livingston, even inappropriately e-mailed one pupil from her personal e-mail address to give him example essays ahead of SQA 
exams.

Staff found official papers were inadequately stored in a folder, placed on a shelf in Mrs Parkes classroom, meaning anyone would have access to them.

Documents released by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) yesterday have revealed she has now been struck from the teaching register.

During the two-day hearing on June 8 and 9, witnesses gave evidence supporting the charges, although Mrs Parkes chose not to attend.

The principal teacher responsible for the history department, known only as Witness B, said that marks subsequently submitted to the SQA from Mrs Parkes showed passes for every pupil for all three National Assessment Banks (NABs).

She stated that this turned out to be completely false and that she was “shocked” when she heard Mrs Parkes had been e-mailing pupils privately and writing some of their essays.

She claimed that, in her view, the lack of evidence that the pupils had passed the NABs was evidence of falsification of the records.

After obtaining exam papers from Mrs Parkes, Witness B said they did not match the marks on the system in the school.

She also claimed that there was no evidence that any of the NABs were even taken.

On issuing a removal order, the GTCS decided “there was a potential for harm to pupils’ education to be caused by providing essays and allowing pupils to enter exams with materials which were not permitted”.

The SQA declined to comment.

newsen@edinburghnews.com