Notre Dame teacher helped pupils cheat
Woman rapped over her conduct during the National 5 exam
ATEACHER at Scotland’s last state-funded all-girls school has admitted helping her pupils cheat during an exam – but avoided being struck off.
Sandra Beaton, who was a Computing and Business studies teacher at Notre Dame High School in Glasgow, flaunted the rules by allowing pupils access to the National 5 Administration exam paper.
The allegations, which Beaton admitted in full, relate to the exam which took place over two blocks back in March 27 and 29, 2017.
However, the findings of the General Teaching Council for Scotland’s Fitness to Teach Panel have only recently been published.
It found that over the course of the exam – which made up for 100% of the National 5 Administration and IT SQA award – Beaton’s conduct was “dishonest” and “lacked integrity”.
She was given a written warning after a local authority disciplinary hearing and subsequently transferred to another school.
However the tribunal still had to determine her fitness to teach.
Exam guidelines stated that it was a “closed book” task, with pupils “unable to access any support materials or be provided with advice by a teacher”.
With the assessment being split over two blocks, the SQA expected all papers to be gathered at the end of one block and re-distributed at the start of the next – with pupils not to have access to the papers during the time in between.
However the tribunal found that Beaton had gone over the paper in advance of the exam – telling pupils to “take note of questions that could be tricky”.
She also was found to have given assistance between blocks, giving pupils back their paper in advance of returning to officially finish their assessment.
The Glasgow City Councilemployed business teacher also provided pupils with a formula to be used during the assignment.
Despite this, the teaching council let Beaton off with a reprimand, which would last on her register for two years.
The allegations only came to light when a pupil raised the alarm. As a result, the pupils had to have their marks regraded and four were interviewed as part of the investigation.
At least one was said to have been “distressed” by the situation.
In making their decision, the panel considered how Beaton admitted the allegations, adding she had been “subject to considerable personal stress and some professional stress”.
In their closing remarks, the panel found that Beaton’s behaviour “had involved an abuse of a position of trust and that harm had been caused to pupils.”
However, it added that the incident was “isolated” in the context of her lengthy career, with no repetition since.
Notre Dame High School in Glasgow