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Doctored KS3 results WHISTLE BLOWING...What advice???

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by ninasimone, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Hello,
    I have a real dilemma and checking if anyone else has experienced the same situation?
    Without naming schools, names etc, I was formerly employed at a school as an ICT teacher (effectively 2nd in dept) and left recently. Over the previous 2 years the dept submitted exemplar work on behalf of pupils for the purposes of levelling, e.g. level 4,5,6,7 and 8 at moderation cluster meetings
    The issue is about whistle blowing and what I know is a case of work submitted purporting to the pupils was actually third party work passed off as the pupils. In some cases the work used was copyright and used to suggest it was produced by the pupils....it was NOT!!!
    Also annotated work was actually done by the teacher!!!
    I have the information that school used external examples of work spreadsheets, databases and other such material purporting it to be pupils work and submitted at external moderation meetings for levelling. I suspect such practice of a similar nature occurs elsewhere but is hardly ever raised as a concern.
    The dilemma I have is about anonymity and declaring the matter to the relevant authorities. Also, the other problem is that I was aware of the use of misappropriated material. The issue of moderation levels is to try and get the KS3 results as high as possible and the cluster meetings are one way of acheiving this. As I no longer work in teaching and wont be anytime soon and that I left the school in question under very bad terms, Im not sure about what to do
    Have already made enquires to the LA advisor and been sent their whistle blowing procedure to a "blag" email address I set up. I also got on really well with my Ex-HOD and know this will cause much anxiety and pressure on him. There is no love lost with the HT and as he was also part of the IT dept, his credibility could also be questioned.
    Any advice....???
     
  2. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    And you hope to achieve what exactly?
    Destroy the department? Carry out a personal grudge against an ex-HT because you left the school under a cloud?
    If you feel so driven, then by all means go for it, and place all your evidence in the public domain. I have no idea what the consequences would be, but I cannot imagine that the school would not come out fighting and start painting you in a very bad light.
     
  3. Standard practice across wide swathes of compieland, darlin'. Why do you think the results keep getting better and the exams keep getting easier?
     
  4. ..well I could go into all the details of my departure not least the fact the school failed in its duty of care towards me in relation to a serious illness/condition I have. Yes one could argue a personal grudge as, if I fully explained the circumstances, you would more than likely say "go for it"...that said, I am not a vindictive person and would always prefer conciliation as opposed to conflict.
    If these sorts of results manipulation happens across the board then it has to stop somewhere and I guess the emotion of my departure and the manner in which that took place is in part driving this whistle blowing need to drop them in it...they made me feel like s*** so a case of touche...and as I am no longer teaching and have no intention to do so unless I can get better then I wonder if I have anything to lose? If not, then whilst as teachers we always feel that accountability albatross around our necks dragging us down, then the school needs to be accountable for the manner in which results are reported
     
  5. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    OK. 'Whistleblowing' legitimate concerns is protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act. However, before you decide whether or not to report, you need to take advice from an organisation called 'Public Concern at Work'.
    http://www.pcaw.co.uk/
    This organisation provides extensive information on its website and offers an extremely helpful Helpline through which you can obtain free, specific legal advice about your situation. PCAW worked closely with the government in drafting the PIDAct.
    Essentially, your disclosures have to be 'qualifying' (mostly this refers to law-breaking or attempting to cover it up, which yours are - breach of contract, etc) and need to be made responsibly in order to be 'protected'. The website/helpline will give you full information about this.
    For myself, I would encourage you to report it. You are right: there is far too much shady practice in teaching and too much covering up, with LEAs collusion.
     
  6. I find this difficult to follow. Surely KS3 levelling is a matter for individual teachers with in a good dept internal standardisation. I can't see how taking work other than by your students and having it levelled really effects that.
    KS3 levels don't count for much anyway. In schools where the levels are part of the reporting system IME teachers just tend to make them up or just report the level that would be expected. Have you ever known KS3 grades having to be justified by actual examples of work allegedly at that level?
    As KS4, where it does matter, is riven with cheating in OCR Nationals/DIDA etc I am afraid that your revelations are not going to cause much of a ripple.
    I understand your desire to get back at an institution that you feel has mistreated you, but I don't think this has much mileage in it.
     
  7. Forget it. As people here have said: 1.) It is being done everywhere, this is why results impove continuously. 2.) The school will have good resources (lawyers, etc) to fight, much more so than you. 3) You won't achieve anything, other than a big dent in your own carreer (no one, in- or outside teaching gives a job readily to someone who has blown the whistle on an employer).
     
  8. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Not for the sort of informal moderation that happens in KS3 no it isn't illegal. Or at least no one is going to bother about it.

    Might not be strictly 'right' in the purest sense of the word, but hardly a hanging offence and definitely seems like you are looking for something to cause trouble about.

    I honestly think if this is the worst thing you can come up with to get back at your old HT, then you might want to think again. Especially as the person who will take the brunt of the blame will be someone you say you get on with. You sure as eggs is eggs won't afterwards if you persist!
     
  9. thanks for your thoughts.
    Must admit, I have thought long and hard about this but I guess its a case of touche or something like that....
    I am not a vindictive person but when a school/HT treat staff in the manner I was then its difficult not to turn the other cheek. I know its hard ro decifer the ins and outs of this matter as I have not given all the minutae of the issues I faced but if I did then possibly a different outcome would materialise in terms of your advice.
    ...what the dept was doing may (and I defer to your knowledge on this one) not be illegal but its certainly morally wrong. After speaking to so called "leading lights " on this matter, yes it would lead to disciplinary of sorts but the dilemma is the possibly the wrong person would end up getting hurt, despite warnings this is something I might do....
    ...anyway I thought using copyright material and passing it off yours was only permissible if the originator of the material gave such permission?
     
  10. An anonymous tip-off to the examining board might be an easy middle way. They might then decide to look more closely, or might decide to do nothing. But ot won't have cost you, emotionally, and might help you draw a line under it and move on.
    BTW, often when youninstigate this kind of 'interest', it may seem that nothing happens. Then a year later, 18 months later....result. Kind of letting nature take its course.
     
  11. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    As I understand it, the OP is talking about level fixing as KS3.
     
  12. To add to what others have said, the OP is talking about fabrication of student work for a KS3 moderation meeting. The point of these meetings isn't to moderate individual students' work, but to make sure that the teachers all know what is expected at each level. Therefore, I don't think there's anything wrong with doing what's been done. Yes, morally, they would have been asked and expected to bring along real student work, but real or not, it wouldn't have affected any levels given out. What about the schools that simply didn't attend the meeting?
    I think the OP should just forget about this, it's not worth the hassle.
     
  13. I had an incident happen a couple of years ago - up until then I had never come across any kind of malpractise in any dept I had worked in. Funnily enough at KS3 too - a new HOD had started and we shared a class. I marked end of year exam papers and passed on the marked papers to be put on the system. When analysing the Ks3 results I notice all the marks had gone up by loads. They were very low acheving, some had gone from about 15% to 40%. I asked my HOD about it and the response was 'I don't know what you are talking about, maybe I didn't agree with your marking' As the years have gone on I would be suprised if it happening also at KS4 with cw.
    But on the whole, these days, things arern't realistic and it makes me feel depressed - I no longer find achieving good results satisfying due to the amount of spoon feeding that is done in order to achieve the results - I simply think that it would have been quicker to do it myself! And this happens all the time, in many, many departments, despite exam boards saying 'declare extra help and support given' it never is!
    My hearts not in it anymore - I get more out of the pastoral side, helping kids with problems etc.. seems more real....

     
  14. Good on ya. You sound like a real teacher.
     
  15. I drew the attention of SMT to 3 departments fiddling by either the HOD doing the work or using old coursework and resubmitting it under a different students name. Quite apart from it just being plain wrong the staff that did this sort of thing would predict low grades for the students so that they, the staff, didn't have to work too hard. It was complete lunacy.
    To cut long story short I'm now available to play on tes forums anytime of the day I like.
    Hey Ho!
     
  16. ...can see what you are saying. If scripts purporting to be the pupils are submitted the moderators sole aim I guess is to assess if teachers are aware what is deemed a given level...I agree and understand that bit....however, if such practice is going on when it is assumed pupils are actually producing this work, when in fact they are not, I have been reliably informed it is morally represensible and deemed a serious misconduct matter....this info is according to the LAs advisor with whom I spoke to as the scripts were mis-representing what the school was actually teaching

    anyways, it is probably a waste of time...but maybe I will take my chances and drop them in it...they dont deserve anything less IMO
     
  17. ...not driven but rather angry that HT/School can on occasions treat staff as poorly as I was...as for the consequences...who knows...doing it without reference to myself might prove to be the best policy as, quite honestly, the system the way it is makes doing things like this a taboo and makes the whistleblower a pyriah....
     
  18. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    Don't lose anymore sleep over this. Your input/ blowing of any whistle will only rebound on you, depsite what you may be told by LA/Union reps along the way. My husband, a good or outstadning teacher for 25 years, blew the whistle on some safeguarding issues a few years ago and ended up with a nervous breakdown after going for countless interviews but never getting another job. A written reference may say one thing, but the LA usually cover each other's backs and it's whats said on the telephone between heads that usually excludes you from any further employment. Forget what you have seen, know that you will never do it and move on.
     
  19. ...sorry to hear about your husband and what he went through. My feelings on this matter seem to change day by day. No doubt if I were to go another school similar occurances would take place. I think the pressure to meet NC targets as well school-driven targets causes many a HOD to fabricate results in order to beef up residuals and such like.....in my case I just want to get back at the school for the crappy way I was treated not just on the basis of doing it for the sake of fairplay. I mean the kids actually lose out as well when HODs and depts manipulate results as some kids truly are not capable of reaching the levels some depts state they can get achieve....and its worse at KS4 when coursework can be fiddled to fit...I mean how often do HODs and teachers actually take a full account of amrking schemes when marking or appraising work??
    Thanks for the advice, I think I will mull it over and decide not to drop the Ex-HOD in it as I did get on with him very well and he would be the one that got hurt and not the HT, who as the **** that he is would do everything to distance himself from such an attack of the schools' credibility...
     
  20. Crowbob

    Crowbob Established commenter

    So, you don't actually care about the doctoring? It is OK if the HoD gets away with it (being complicit in the least), but not the Head? At least you admit you are only doing this for vindictive reasons. How charming...
     

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