A Lincolnshire primary school teacher has been banned indefinitely from the classroom after a misconduct panel found she had altered exam results.
Mrs Jennifer Wallington, 37, was a Year 3 teacher at Malcom Sargent School in Stamford when it was alleged that she made more than 300 changes to pupils’ Key Stage 2 National Curriculum tests after they had been marked.
She had worked as a teaching assistant at the school from 2011, and a teacher since 2016.
Wallington was dismissed for gross misconduct in 2019.
The Teaching Regulation Agency disciplinary panel, on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education, heard that she had admitted altering a significant number of marks from ‘0’ to ‘1’, inserted answers where pupils had left questions blank and written over original answers.
In total, she made 333 changes to original marks given to Year 3 pupils.
In an email to the presenting officer in September 2020, she wrote:
“After burying my head in the sand for far too long, I’ve made the decision to admit my wrong doings, hoping that it isn’t too late to finally allow myself to admit my grave mistake of changing some of the children’s marks.
“I wish I had had the strength and courage to admit my mistake straight away, but once I had gone forward with denying I was just too embarrassed and mortified at myself to admit my failings! I can’t apologise enough for not being honest with my ex colleagues and in turn the children who I loved and respected dearly and their parents.”
The Teaching Regulation Agency said: “The panel considered that Mrs Wallington’s actions amounted to dishonesty of a serious nature. She had made extensive and significant changes to the tests of pupils. The panel noted that Mrs Wallington’s actions had serious consequences or could have had serious consequences if undiscovered by the School.”
The panel noted that aside from the former teacher’s serious wrongdoing, a number of positive character references had been made to credit her contribution to the profession.
One unnamed person said: “Jennifer was very often praised by parents for her relationships with the children in parent’s evenings and academic reports: her kindness and warmth were key parts of her teaching values.”
Another said: “Due to Mrs Wallington, our faith has been restored in Malcom Sargent School…”
The panel ruled that Wallington would be prohibited from teaching with immediate effect, with an option to review the ruling after two years.