Beyond investigates a Liverpool teacher that’s been banned for changing coursework, potentially impacting student grades.
John Wiseman is a teacher who’s been banned for changing coursework. A former computing teacher at Calderstones School, Wiseman initially denied but then admitted to altering his students’ coursework after being caught by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).
Mr Wiseman committed the offence in 2018 when OCR examination board asked for a moderation sample of coursework from 15 pupils. The samples were for the R082 Creating Digital Graphics I-Media course. Wiseman taught eight out of the 15 pupils selected and confessed to changing 27 out of the 28 files from the coursework sample. Concerns were raised to TRA when another teacher discovered the inconsistencies.
When the original files were compared to the files that Mr Wiseman uploaded to the exam board server, the disciplinary panel found that “extensive and significant” changes had been made, and that these could have impacted the pupils’ grades.
Mr Wiseman admitted to making several alterations such as changing tables, deleting or adding text and pictures and rewording statements so it would affect the pupils’ marks and grades. He told the panel that he altered the coursework because he was concerned that the previously awarded marks may have been too generous.
However, TRA found that the amendments “suggested that the pupils had reached a higher standard of attainment than they actually had” and that Mr Wiseman’s actions “would have been to his own benefit” rather than the “long-term benefit” of the pupils and school. They added that as a teacher of 17 years, “he would have been aware…that his actions had been wholly unprofessional and wrong”.
Mr Wiseman was issued a two-year prohibition order and he will be able to appeal the ban in two years’ time.
Teachers across the UK are under immense pressure as the time to submit pupil grades approaches. Final grades have a huge impact on a pupil’s future and are a glaring reflection on schools and teachers. Though the option to alter grades may be tempting, we must remember our integrity and commitment to the profession.
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