Liverpool teacher banned over 'extensive' coursework changes

image copyrightPeter Tarleton/Geograph
image captionMr Wiseman had been employed as an ICT computing teacher at Calderstones School

A teacher who made "extensive and significant modifications" to pupils' coursework before sending it to an exam board has been banned from teaching.

Computing teacher John Wiseman altered work by students at Calderstones School, Liverpool in 2018, the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) found.

The 47-year-old admitted making changes over concerns he had previously been "overly generous" in his marking.

Banning him for two years, a TRA panel found he had acted "without integrity".

Mr Wiseman, who had taught at the school on Harthill Road since 2001, was asked on 5 November 2018 to submit the coursework of 15 pupils who had been chosen by the OCR examination board as a moderation sample for the R082 Creating Digital Graphics I-Media course, a TRA hearing heard.

He taught eight out of the 15 pupils chosen for the sample and admitted he had altered 27 out of the 28 files from the coursework sample in respect of those pupils.

The disciplinary panel was told concerns were raised when another teacher discovered the changes.

Mr Wiseman admitted some of the amendments, which included rephrasing statements and deleting or adding text and pictures, would have made a difference to the pupils' marks and grades.

'Primary consequence'

In its ruling, the TRA said he had "initially denied" making the amendments, which was something he "now regretted", and had signed the exam board's authentication form which had stated the work was all done by the pupils.

He was suspended by the school on 12 November 2018 and resigned on 8 February 2019, five days before he admitted his changes to the exam board.

The TRA panel said it had heard "wider evidence" of Mr Wiseman's "general good character", but that "did not dissuade the panel that [he] had acted dishonestly and without integrity".

"He had made extensive and significant changes to the coursework of pupils he had taught immediately before that coursework was due to be sent to the exam board," its ruling said.

It added that the changes "suggested that the pupils had reached a higher standard of attainment than they actually had" and the "primary consequence" of Mr Wiseman's actions "would have been to his own benefit" and not to the "long-term benefit" of the school or the pupils.

Issuing a two-year prohibition order, the panel said his actions had to be treated with the "utmost seriousness" to ensure that "public confidence in the profession" was not "seriously weakened".

In a statement, the school said it had "nothing further to add to the findings of the report".

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