'Lazy' Scarborough teacher banned for submitting false marks

A 'lazy' science teacher who submitted bogus coursework marks and altered students' work has been kicked out of the profession.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 12th May 2016, 12:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2016, 1:35 pm
St Augustine's School
St Augustine's School

Rebecca Noble, 46, missed the 2015 moderation deadline for 27 GCSE science pupils at St Augustine's School.

She presented false marks to the exam body OCR and altered 11 children's work to reflect the false marks given, the National College for Teaching and Leadership heard.

Noble was caught out after telling a colleague she had spent "the last 24 hours adding to the students work to bring it up to the submitted mark."

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She admitted to an internal disciplinary interview that she knew the marks weren't "sound" after the deadline on May 15 last year.

Noble, who had worked at the school since 2002, also missed moderation deadlines in 2008 and 2009.

She only skimmed over the children's work after another member of staff had looked at it.

When asked to respond to the allegation that her conduct was an example of malpractice at the internal interview Noble said: "I know."

Noble also admitted that she had falsified students' coursework.

St Augustine's head teacher Mark Taylor said Noble had weak organisational skills and tried to get away with doing minimal work.

He said she was "lazy" and tried to "wing it".

An NCTL panel found her guilty of missing moderation deadlines in 2008, 2009 and 2015, falsifying marks and changing pupils work in 2015.

NCTL panel chair Martin Greenslade said: "The panel considered that Mrs Noble was subjectively aware that her conduct in relation to falsifying students' coursework that she intended to submit to OCR was dishonest.

"It was notable that Mrs Noble changed the coursework at home, which the panel considers may have been an attempt to prevent her conduct being detected by the School.

"This, in the panel's view, was evidence of Mrs Noble's knowingly falsifying 11 students' coursework so that the standard was consistent with the marks submitted to OCR.

"The panel found Mrs Noble's actions to be calculated and motivated.

"Mrs Noble had tried to blame another member of staff for the completion of and submission of inaccurate marks that were sent to OCR."

The panel made a recommendation to the Secretary of State that a prohibition order should be imposed with immediate effect.

Alan Meyrick, taking the decision on behalf of the secretary of state said: "Mrs Rebecca Noble is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children's home in England.

"She may apply for the prohibition order to be set aside, but not until 12 May 2019, three years from the date of this order at the earliest.

"This is not an automatic right to have the prohibition order removed.

'If she does apply, a panel will meet to consider whether the prohibition order should be set aside.

"Without a successful application, Mrs Noble remains prohibited from teaching indefinitely."

Noble, who was not present at the hearing, was banned from teaching indefinitely and must wait at least three years before launching an appeal.

In a statement North Yorkshire County Council said: "St Augustine’s Catholic School welcomes the fact this case was brought before the Professional Conduct Panel of the NCTL and supports the outcome St Augustine’s.strives to provide the highest standards in teaching and learning for its students and therefore requires the highest professional standards of its teaching staff.

"As soon as the school suspected that this teacher was engaged in the maladministration of coursework it took immediate action to investigate further and also contacted the exam board OCR.

"This further investigation revealed that the science teacher had allegedly submitted false coursework marks to the examination board and knowingly falsified student coursework so that the standard was consistent with the marks submitted.

"When the teacher resigned prior to a disciplinary panel to consider the internal allegation, the school referred the case to the National College for teaching and Leadership (NCTL)."

Headteacher Mr Taylor said: “As soon as we had evidence to call this teacher’s trustworthiness into question, the school, with the support of the county council, took immediate action to investigate every aspect of this case.

“Throughout this whole process no child has been disadvantaged and parents have been kept informed throughout.

"The marks of students affected were adjusted by the exam board to reflect their true attainment in line with national performance standards.

“We expect nothing less than the highest professional standards from our teachers.

"We will not tolerate malpractice of any sort and certainly not in relation to coursework. The assessment and marking of coursework should strictly follow all the rules and regulations so that students are given the mark which truly matches their attainment and so that no student is disadvantaged in any way."