Cheating teachers on the rise Number of staff illicitly helping children pass

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first_imgThere were 388 penalties issued to school and college staff in 2016Credit:David Jones/PA Wire The majority of staff found to be cheating were given written warnings Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), said: “Whilst in no way condoning cheating, the NUT believes the trebling of the number of teachers cheating is a sign that the pressure both on teachers and children is too great.“Whilst the absolute number remains very low, these figures should be taken by Government as a sign that they need to act to dial down pressure. It has reached levels where it is now counterproductive.” A former teacher at one of the lowest performing schools in the country, in a deprived borough of south-east London told The Daily Telegraph why he helped children cheat in exams.“The system is biased against these children,” he said. “The best way to level the playing field is to help them by putting answers on the board or giving a bit of extra time.“Some children will ask their middle class parents for help but these children go home and their parents won’t even have a newspaper. All teachers do it [cheat] so you are stupid if you don’t.” Children sit an exam Dr Mary Richardson, a senior lecturer in at the Institute for Education at University College London, said that given the “immense pressure” that teachers in state school are under, it is “actually surprising how little cheating goes on”.“In any assessment system where the high-stakes tests are linked closely to a system of high-accountability, you will always have some people who cheat in order to ensure that they or their school, or their pupils are not impacted by such rigid accountability frameworks,” she added.  The figures show that in most cases, penalties were issued to teachers for giving “inappropriate” assistance to students, although it did not specify what qualifies this type of behaviour.  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The majority of staff found to be cheating were given written warnings, and the second most common penalty was being suspended from teaching.  Alan Smithers, head of the centre for education at Buckingham University, said the Ofqual figures are likely to just be the tip of the iceberg, as most cheating goes unnoticed. The most common offence for students was possessing a mobile phone or other electronic device Credit:CHARLES PLATIAU A spokesman for the Joint Council of Qualification, a group representing all the UK’s major exam boards, said that instances of malpractise in exams are rare. “Penalties to students remained stable in number and represent only 0.011% of examination units taken in summer 2016,” the spokesman said.“Exam boards remain committed to delivering a fair and robust system.  Annual inspections, vigilant invigilators, staff, and whistle blowers mean that where malpractice does take place it is spotted and dealt with appropriately.” The majority of staff found to be cheating were given written warningsCredit:Barry Batchelor/PA Wire Cheating teachers are on the rise as figures show the number illicitly helping children pass GCSE and A-level exams has trebled in the past two years.Education experts and teaching unions have blamed the steep increase on the pressures and stress of a results-driven culture at schools. There were 388 penalties issued to school and college staff in 2016, up from 262 in 2015 and 119 in 2014, according to figures released on Tuesday by Ofqual, the qualifications regulator for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. What is driving all of this is that schools are judged on results, the head teachers’ jobs can be on the line and so can teachersAlan Smithers, head of the centre for education at Buckingham University The most common offence for students was possessing a mobile phone or other electronic device  “Not all cheating is easy to detect so what they have picked up may just be only part of actually happening on the ground,” he said. “Some would be quite hard to pick up, some are more blatant than others.”He added: “What is driving all of this is that schools are judged on results, the head teachers’ jobs can be on the line and so can teachers’.” Meanwhile the number of students caught cheating in exams has decreased marginally in recent years, with the most common offence possessing a mobile phone or other electronic device in an exam.The number of penalties for this increased by 15 per cent compared to last year, from 790 to 900.last_img read more

Policeman sacked after reneging on deal to share proceeds of buried coins

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first_imgPc Cockle failed to share the proceeds of the coins with farmer under whose fields they were discovered Pc Cockle failed to share the proceeds of the coins with farmer under whose fields they were discoveredCredit:East Anglia Daily News A policeman who cheated a farmer out of a share of historic gold coins worth £15,000 found on his land has been sacked.PC David Cockle, 50, had a struck deal with the farmer allowing him to go metal detecting on his fields in return for splitting the proceeds of anything he discovered.But the Norfolk officer reneged on the arrangement after he unearthed up to ten extremely rare Merovingian Tremissis coins dating back to the early 7th century.Cockle failed to tell the landowner about the find and instead sold the French coins to a dealer for £15,000 and kept the entire amount.Cockle admitted stealing ten coins between April 2012 and November 2015 at Ipswich Crown Court last month and is due to be sentenced on March 8.On Monday the Pc was sacked at a misconduct hearing for what Norfolk Chief Constable Simon Bailey described as “one of the grossest breaches of trust” in stealing the coins.Mr Bailey said it was clear Cockle was allowed to use the land to search for treasure “because he was a police officer and the farmer liked the idea of a police officer on his land”.The chief constable added that Cockle had let the force down by keeping the coins and had “most importantly let the farmer down and the wider public”. Cockle also denied three charges of converting criminal property. Prosecutors said that they would not proceed with the charges.A Norfolk Police spokeswoman said Cockle, who was based at Downham Market police station, had been suspended since being charged in May 2016.The spokeswoman said he was “in breach of a contract he had signed with the landowner” to share the proceeds of any find.She added: “The investigation was launched after the Norfolk and Suffolk Anti-Corruption Unit received information from a member of the public and Cockle was arrested in November 2015.” One of the Merovingian Tremissis coins dating back to the early 7th century found by Pc CockleCredit:East Anglia News Servicecenter_img The hearing was told the breaches amounted to gross misconduct with the only appropriate outcome being immediate dismissal.Cockle who did not attend the hearing, expressed his remorse and apologised in a written statement presented by the Police Federation.Ipswich Crown Court was also told that the policeman had also failed to report his find to the Norfolk coroner who would have considered if it was treasure trove.The coins which he sold in three batches over 14 months are believed to have been part of a larger hoard.Similar gold coins were found in the same West Norfolk field by another metal detecting enthusiast who also had permission to be on the land.But unlike Cockle, the other man reported his find to the authorities, enabling it to be declared as treasure trove.Experts said that the two finds taken together potentially made it the largest ever hoard of the type of coins ever found in the UK.Merovingian Tremissis coins were made in Gaul which is now France and other low countries of Europe and are said to be very rare in the UK with only around 100 of them found in modern times.Cockle, who at the time of the offence lived in Wareham, near Downham Market, Norfolk, and has since moved to Leigh, in Lancashire, had initially denied stealing, but changed his plea to guilty on the day that his trial was due to start.Judge Rupert Overbury adjourned sentencing until March 8 for a pre-sentence report, but told the officer that he was considering giving him a suspended prison sentence. One of the Merovingian Tremissis coins dating back to the early 7th century found by Pc Cockle Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Teaching assistant stole primary schools charity money to pay off sons drug

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first_imgHannigan told the hearing: “I heard a banging on the back and front doors I went to the back door and there was a man standing there who wanted to see my son because he owed him some money – money he owed them for drugs.”I shut the door on them but they banged again – they just wanted to get at my son who was in the house with me and we were both very frightened.”They were very threatening, saying that we ‘could disappear’ or the house could burn down.”She said they demanded £1,000 for her 31-year-old son drug debts but they were satisfied with a down payment of £300.The Education Workforce Council hearing was told Mrs Hannigan was a “frequent collector” for the charity because her daughter had been treated for a serious heart problem.She told the panel: “I’m sorry this has happened I’m very remorseful.”I knew my son was in with a bad lot.”Hannigan admitted taking the money and using it to pay the dealers and had admitted unacceptable professional conduct.The disciplinary panel on Wednesday handed Hannigan a reprimand, allowing her to immediately return to the classroom.Panel chair Jacquie Turnbull said although Hannigan had acted dishonestly, her actions were not premeditated and she had since shown “genuine remorse.” “But later that night she did and acted deliberately. It was spontaneous and not something that had been planned.”It’s not the case this was part of a grander scheme to repay her son’s drug debt.”There can be no doubt that she was under extreme duress. It’s a highly unusual incident.” She told a disciplinary panel she handed two drug dealers £300 in cash – including the £287 raised by pupils at her school for the British Heart Foundation – when they arrived at her home.The Education Workforce Council heard Hannigan – who had worked in Glanhowy Primary School in Tredegar, Gwent for 23 years – was investigated over the theft in February 2015.She was interviewed by police and taken to court where she was handed a conditional discharge.Presenting Officer Cadi Dewi said: “This was a lengthy and sustained deception which was only admitted to her employers when she was confronted by colleagues.”She only notified her current school about proceedings a week before this hearing.”She’s confirmed she only notified the school because she realised it was inevitable they would find out anyway.”David Harris, representing Hannigan, said she had been put under “extreme duress” and denied she’d deliberately stolen the money to pay off the drug dealers.Mr Harris said: “There was no intention that when she went home that night she had an intention to dispose of the money dishonestly. They were very threatening, saying that we ‘could disappear’ or the house could burn down.Caroline Hannigan Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img Miss Turnbull said: “We’re satisfied she intended to repay the money and gave credible evidence as to why she hadn’t already done so.”We’re satisfied there’s no significant risk of her repeating her actions.” A primary school teaching assistant who stole money intended for charity to pay off her son’s drug dealer will be able to continue her career.Experienced teaching assistant Caroline Hannigan, 56, admitted taking £287 raised for the British Heart Foundation and giving it to dealers.She could have been struck from the teaching register for the offence – but a disciplinary panel has decided that she will be allowed to to return to the classroom.Hannigan said she handed over the cash after dealers threatened to make her “disappear” over her son’s drug debts. I’m sorry this has happened I’m very remorseful. I knew my son was in with a bad lot.Caroline Hanniganlast_img read more

Blake the sheepdog returns but without his best friend Bella the orphaned

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first_imgA frantic search, using tracker dogs and cameras,  was launched with Philip Schofield, the ITV presenter and animal lover, offering a £1,000 reward.  Blake, a border collie has been found and was returned home, Ms  Haywood posted on Facebook.  But there is no sign of Bella.He  is well and behaving “like nothing has happened”, Ms Haywood said.”The hunt for Bella continues still, with Blake’s help we will bring her home.”  Blakethe missing sheepdog  has been foundCredit:Newark and Sherwood District Council/PA Blakethe missing sheepdog has been found Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Blake, the missing sheepdog who befriended an orphaned two-day old lamb, has been returned to his home in Nottinghamshire. But Bella, his woolly chum, is still missing.  The pair had been inseparable from the day that Bella was adopted from a neighbouring farm by Natalie Haywood, a 22-year old mother of two.They played together and even snoozed together on a family rug. But earlier this month the pair went missing from their home in Perlethorpe, near Mansfield.Bella, who was being bottle-fed when she went missing, was only five weeks old.   “I’m desperate for news about them,” said Ms Haywood, when they went missing.  “I’m so worried about what might have happened.”last_img read more

Ecigarette in a bag causes security alert at Euston station

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first_imgAt Euston Station. No idea what’s happening, but everyone is running away and there’s police arriving from every street.— Isa Ribeiro (@IsaRamosRibeiro) 29 August 2017 Police at Euston Police said there was a small contained explosionCredit:Tolga Akmen/REuters Lots of people running from Euston Station screaming.— Jon Birchall (@jonbir90) 29 August 2017 Euston incident: An electrical item is believed to have caused a small contained explosion. No one has been injured.— BTP (@BTP) 29 August 2017 Ummm there’s a huge police presence and a bomb squad at Euston station— katy (@haymaya_) 29 August 2017 British Transport Police said: “An e-cigarette in a bag is believed to have been the cause of the small explosion at London Euston this evening. Officers are still on scene.”Police earlier said on Twitter: “An electrical item is believed to have caused a small contained explosion. No one has been injured.” Reports on the social media site suggested people had heard a “loud bang” at around 8pm.A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “A suspicious package was found. Hopefully, as with most of these things, it will be checked out and everything will be back to normal soon.”It is an ongoing incident.” British Transport Police said in statement on Tuesday evening: “Officers are currently at Euston station responding to a security alert.”We are investigating but there appears to have been a small contained explosion which is believed to have been caused by an e-cigarette which was in a bag at the station. An e-cigarette in a bag has been blamed for a security alert at Euston station in central London.The station was evacuated after the suspicious package was found.Passengers ran screaming for their lives as police and bomb squad experts arrived on the scene.At last one platform on the underground station was also reportedly evacuated in the security alert. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “No one  is believed to have been injured.”We were called at around 7.40pm. “The station is currently evacuated whilst officers and search dogs check the area is safe.”We are working with Network Rail to reopen the station as soon as possible. “Thank you everyone for your patience.”last_img read more

The choir that cannot sing together

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first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. People with the genetic condition cystic fibrosis have formed a choir. A high infection risk hinders them from singing and recording in one room. However, they have found a way to get around that, and have collaborated on a Christmas album.last_img

Former RAF medic arrested on suspicion of drink driving refused to give

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Dr Farrelly, who served in Iraq, claims to have a phobia of needles The trial was adjourned part-heard by District Judge Tim Capstick to reconvene on May 14. The GP then asked to have a legal representative in the room but the officer told him the process could not be delayed to find a solicitor.After being taken to the custody desk, Dr Farrell then claimed: “I have a massive issue with needles.”And he added: “I’m not refusing to provide a sample, I’m refusing to provide a blood sample because it involves pain.”The exchange ended with the officer asking: “Are you willing now to provide a sample?”Dr Farrell replied: “Without legal representation, the answer is no.”Dr Farrell denies failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis without reasonable excuse whilst under suspicion of drink driving.His solicitor, Michael Robinson, told the court: “He didn’t indicate he had refused, the police indicated he had refused.”Mr Robinson said that “failures” by the police and his client’s fear of needles would be used in his defence.Dr Farrell is currently a GP partner in a Stockton-based NHS practice and a regional GP for Virgin Healthcare.He previously worked as an RAF medical officer between 2005 and 2011 serving deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, working for some of that time as an aeromedical evacuation doctor.He studied medicine at Birmingham University, The Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of General Practice. After Dr Farrell repeatedly refused to give a sample, a police constable could be seen telling him: “You are drunk and not thinking clearly…You will lose your licence if you don’t give a sample.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Dr Farrelly, who served in Iraq, claims to have a phobia of needles A doctor, who was four times over the drink drive limit when he was stopped by police, refused to give a blood sample, claiming he was afraid of needles, a court has heard.Dr Michael Farrell, a GP who served as an RAF medic in Iraq, has denied any wrongdoing, insisting his phobia of needles is a “reasonable excuse” for failing to prove a sample.The 45-year-old was stopped by police on suspicion of drink driving on Jan 6, close to his home in the village of Ingelby Barwick, Teesside.His breathalyser reading showed 127 micrograms in 100ml of breath, placing him more than three times over the UK drink drive limit of 35 micrograms.Dr Farrell was then arrested and taken to a nearby police station where he was asked to provide a blood sample.But he refused, insisting that he suffered from a “needle phobia,” despite the fact that the condition was not noted on his medical records.Teesside Magistrates’ Court was show body worn footage of Dr Farrell’s exchange with officers in the custody suite at the police station. read more

Broadcast Amendment Bill GPA stands in solidarity with local broadcasters

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One day after private broadcast companies came out to criticise the Government over the proposed Broadcast Amendment Bill and asked for the deferral of the debate and passage of a recently-tabled bill, the Guyana Press Association (GPA) has come out in support of these companies.President of the GPA, Neil Marks“We stand in solidarity with local broadcasters on this issue and will be seeking further legal advice to convince the Government of the need to halt or reverse this process given the severe consequences these amendments pose to freedom of the press in Guyana and the commercial viability of private radio and television stations,” the GPA said in a strongly worded statement.The press body claimed that the amendments being sought will essentially introduce an unwarranted “programme manager” position by the State in the daily schedules of radio and television stations. It said, “The overall provision for the allocation of 60 minutes for public service programmes will disrupt and violate contractual obligations that stations will have with advertisers and programme sponsors.”While recognising that private broadcasters have an important role to play in cases of emergencies and disasters, including matters of public health, the GPA said it out-rightly opposed the actual allocation of times or the need to inform the authority about this or for the authority to dictate time slots if it does not agree with those allocated by the stations.“The GPA strongly objects to the Guyana Government seeking to redefine what constitutes “public service programmes” as this is in direct contradiction and a violation of the letter and spirit of the definition of public service broadcasting as laid down by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) of which Guyana is a member,” it explained.In referring to one of UNESCO’s factors in determining public service broadcasting is independent and free from State and political control, the Press Association asserted that public broadcasting is a forum where ideas should be expressed freely, where information, opinions and criticisms can circulate.This is, according to the body, possible only if the broadcaster is independent, thereby allowing the freedom of public broadcasting to be maintained against commercial or political influence.“If the information provided by the public broadcaster was influenced by the Government, people are less likely to believe the content. Likewise, if the public broadcaster’s programming were designed for commercial ends, people would not understand why they are being asked to finance a service providing programming that is not substantially different from those provided by commercial broadcasters.”The GPA also thinks President David Granger and the rest of the Cabinet may have been ill-advised by Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo of what constitutes “public service programmes.” Nagamootoo holds the portfolio of Broadcasting and Information Minister.Further legal advice from local and international experts is being sought by the GPA. The Association also plans on raising this matter with its affiliates such as the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM) and the International Press Institute (IPI), and other global press freedom bodies.Several private media owners and operators have expressed several concerns about the Bill. Most of them have said that this Bill could negatively impact their operations, particularly as it relates to the licensing fee structure, the imposition on property and infringement to determine broadcast content. They also claimed that they were not consulted on the amendments.Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has said that the Bill in its current form is a direct attack on press freedom while urging broadcasters not to sit idly by and allow the Government, through its one-seat majority, to get its way with the passage of the Bill; but rather seek recourse through the courts.Part two of the Bill sets out that broadcast agencies will be mandated to broadcast public service programmes for a total of up to one hour daily. Broadcast agencies will be airing these public service programmes free of cost and as requested by the Government between 06:00h and 22:00h.It is also states that the GNBA reserves the right to direct a broadcasting agency to broadcast emergency notices or disaster warnings for any length of time, and regularly during peak or prime advertising time periods, depending on the nature of the emergency and having regard to public safety.Revoking the 2014 broadcasting regulations, the Act also puts those broadcasters who are already licensed at the mercy of the Authority. It mandates that any licensed entity carrying out broadcast services immediately before the act went into effect will have no choice but to reapply within 30 days for a licence in accordance with the amended law, in addition to a  plethora of other restrictions. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedIPI urges Govt to review amendments to broadcast billAugust 8, 2017In “Business”Broadcast Amendment Bill: Reporters Without Borders urges President not to assent until “meaningful” consultations heldAugust 8, 2017In “Business”Legal challenge to Broadcast Amendment Bill filed by former Attorney GeneralOctober 10, 2017In “Business” read more

LETTER GRA responds to inaccuracies on Corporate Tax

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Dear Editor,The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) would like to respond to a letter published in the local press under the title “The reason why Guyana needs Tax Reform”, which was submitted by Mr Sase Singh; and to correct several inaccuracies mentioned in the letter on the rate of Corporation Tax.The GRA wishes to remind the writer and the general public that Section 10 of the Corporation Tax Act was amended in 2017 to reduce the Corporation Tax rate for non-commercial companies from 30% to 27.5%. Additionally, provisions were made in the Act for a dual tax rate for companies carrying out both commercial and non-commercial activities. For these companies, the non-commercial activity of the company shall be taxed at the rate of twenty-seven and one-half per cent, and the commercial activity of the company shall be taxed at a rate of forty per cent.”This reduction was a direct response to complaints raised by the manufacturing sector on the high rate of tax in the sector, and appeals for a decrease in the Corporate Tax rate in order to improve their competitiveness, both locally and overseas.Please note that if the correct Corporate Tax rate was used in the letter, the arguments posited by the writer for tax avoidance, transfer pricing, and enhancement of the investment climate would be refuted.Members of the public are urged to visit the Guyana Revenue Authority’s (GRA’s) website at for up-to-date information on rates of taxes and recent tax reforms. Further contact can be made with our Tax Advisory Services Section on +592 227 6060 Ext. 1200 to 1204; or persons can send us a message at or,Public Relations DepartmentGuyana Revenue Authority Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedOnly $800 increase in Old Age pensionNovember 29, 2016In “Local News”Revenue body making moves to collect G$528M ‘outstanding’ taxes from DipconJuly 9, 2019Similar postGRA rakes in $20B more in revenue for 2017January 25, 2018In “Business” read more

Man fatally injured on Takutu Bridge

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Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Related14-year-old girl allegedly attacked, injured by men in LethemApril 29, 2019In “Crime”Guyana/Brazil Consulate Officer killed in accident off Takutu BridgeAugust 9, 2014In “Crime”Man stoned to death at Lethem – several persons arrestedFebruary 20, 2017In “Crime” A 22-year-old man, identified as Rockie Pedro, was killed on Sunday while travelling from Guyana to Brazil via the Takutu Bridge.The man reportedly fell from a moving vehicle which was travelling across the Bridge.The Takutu Bridge connects Guyana and Brazil and is used by scores of people on a daily basis.This publication was informed that no one else was reportedly travelling in the vehicle with the young Moruca resident when the incident occurred.Investigations are currently ongoing. read more

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