An art teacher who drew her students GCSE exam entries herself has been banned from the classroom.
Nicola Hurst, who worked as the head of department at Bedford High School in Leigh, also inserted work from former pupils into other students’ coursework folders, a Teaching Regulation Agency panel was told.
The 32-year-old has now been banned from the profession for two years following a misconduct hearing.
Several pupils were interviewed about actions Ms Hurst is alleged to have carried out between September 2016 and May 2018.
READ MORE: Dawn raids see 100s of police officers storm dozens of ‘drug dens’ in massive blitz on gangsters
One said Ms Hurst had rubbed out a drawing he had done of his girlfriend before redoing it herself.
Another claimed she had finished their canvas of a yellow flower for them during a mock examination.
An investigation also found Ms Hurst had provided artwork produced by previous pupils for other pupils to use in their GCSE work.
After handing over one such piece to a pupil, she is alleged to have told them: “they’re yours now”.
Ms Hurst was also said to have told one pupil some of their work ‘wasn’t good enough’ before replacing it with work from another pupil’s book.
The panel heard that on another occasion, the backing was removed from a pupil’s canvas to reveal the name of another pupil no longer at the school.
Ms Hurst, who had been employed at the school since September 2011, was called to a disciplinary hearing in November 2018 but resigned beforehand.
The exam board AQA later found she had committed deception by substituting candidates’ work.
Ms Hurst denied all allegations made against her, but did not attend the misconduct hearing.
In her absence, the panel concluded she was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
They said she had acted with ‘serious dishonesty’ and a ‘disregard for the significant potential risk to the pupils’ academic future’.
The panel also noted that Ms Hurst had ‘showed no insight or remorse in respect of her conduct’.
They added: “The panel did not consider that Ms Hurst’s actions resulted in any personal gain and that she was motivated by a misguided belief that she was simply helping the pupils.”
After considering the facts of the case, Sarah Buxcey – a decision maker on behalf of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson – ruled that Ms Hurst should be banned from teaching.
Ms Buxcey added: “In my judgement, the lack of insight means that there is some risk of the repetition of this behaviour and I have therefore given this element considerable weight in reaching my decision.”
Ms Hurst can apply for her ban to be reviewed in July 2023.