London teachers caught paying pupils to mark papers for them to ease workload

Joshua Hoehne
Stock image of pupil completing school work Credit: UnSplash/Joshua Hoehne

Three East London teachers were caught paying pupils to help mark school work and ease their heavy workload.

Faisal Iqbal, Inderjeet Panesar and Reiss Joseph worked at Oaks Park High School in Ilford and were investigated after allegations first emerged.

Three pupils marked work for Mr Iqbal, Mr Panesar and science teacher Mr Joseph.

A fourth pupil was also found to be marking work for Mr Panesar. They were given marking schemes to help complete the work.

The assessment papers were internal and not used for external purposes, and investigation found.

Evidence revealed pupils marked papers for a range of year groups including year 13, year 12, year 11, year 10, year 8 and year 7.

Part of the investigation revealed: "The panel was not provided with copies of the papers marked by pupils.

"However, the teachers confirmed that the papers were not multiple choice papers and included a range of predominantly low mark questions, however they did include some questions which required the pupils to consider the mark schemes and exercise judgment about the marks to be awarded."

Mr Iqbal told the investigating panel he had a heavy workload at the time the misconduct took place, whilst still being a relatively junior teacher.

He was also acting as a mentor and the only subject specialist in computer science and the only teacher with advanced knowledge of computer programming language.

Mr Panesar also had a heavy workload. He said the mathematics department had introduced new assessment measures, meaning that Mr Panesar was contending with fortnightly papers for one of his classes; providing feedback for the students he taught in their class books every two weeks; marking assessments; and lesson planning for the next academic year.

Mr Panesar also had a young family and found it difficult to manage his workload and work life balance.

Reiss Joseph told the panel that he was a junior teacher at the time and his inexperience contributed towards his poor judgment.

He also said that the marking of papers by pupils was an enrichment programme at the School.

One of the pupils pupils provided a statement as part of the investigation recording amounts totaling £63, broken down as follows:

  • £7 for one set.

  • £14 for two sets

  • £7 for one set

  • £10 for two sets, with £4 outstanding

  • £25 for 3 sets and the £4 owed

The panel decided the conduct of each teacher amounted to misconduct which fell short of the standards expected of the profession. There was a breach of confidentiality and safeguarding issue because of the additional work placed on the students.

All three teachers resigned from the school on 10 May 2019, but it was concluded none should be banned permanently from the classroom because each had gone 'above and beyond' in day-to-day teaching duties.

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