Teacher gave pupils answers to test

A high school teacher who made an error in his students' NCEA assessments let them do the test again and gave them the answers.

The teacher told the students not to tell their parents or anyone else what had happened.

A decision from the Teachers Council Disciplinary Tribunal said the incident related to assessments of Year 10 students in 2011.

The teacher, who was employed as head of department, submitted work for moderation for 2012 NCEA credits, under a standard which had expired in 2011.

The students would have to pay a fee of $76.50 and a late fee of $50 to have the previous year's grades awarded, or re-sit assessments under the new standard.

The teacher told the students their work could not be credited because he had taught an old standard, and they would need to pay a fee or re-sit the test.

In October 2012, five students re-sat the assessment and were given answers by the teacher. Three students reported this to the deputy principal.

The teacher resigned after an investigation. The students were eventually awarded the expired credits so they would not be disadvantaged through no fault of their own.

The teacher said he just wanted to the students to get the credits they had already earned, without doing extra work. He was censured and conditions were imposed on his practicing certificate for three years.

In another decision released by the Teachers' Council today, a principal was censured and deregistered for multiple failings, including running the school finances into a deficit.

The first-time principal was appointed in 2009 following a period where a limited statutory manager had been in charge of the school.

In 2010 her relationship with the Board of Trustees broke down to the point where the board was dissolved and a commissioner appointed.

The tribunal decision said a dysfunctional atmosphere had developed at the school, with "unsavoury incidents and serious allegations lain at the door of different camps".

The principal failed to maintain proper records, including student assessment, attendance and achievement.

She also "unilaterally expanded the powers and responsibilities of the cleaner/caretaker", who was her partner. She also failed to use oversight of his use of school-funded fuel.

Her rental of a school-owned residence was in arrears, and she had unexplained absences from work.

The principal resigned in 2012 and is no longer working as a teacher.

The tribunal agreed that if she does not relinquish her registration by an agreed date, she will be censured and deregistered.

In another decision, a teacher who did not declare two convictions for benefit fraud has been censured and had her registration cancelled. She also had previous convictions for benefit fraud and drink-driving which were known to the Teachers Council.

- By Heather McCracken of APNZ

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