Classroom ban for Wigan teacher who sent fake emails lying about her qualifications

A "young, inexperienced and naive" Wigan teacher has been banned from teaching for three years after a panel found her guilty of "serious misconduct" by pretending she had a degree.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 10:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 11:06 am

Claudia Malley, 24, who worked as an unqualified teacher at St Mary and St John Catholic Primary School on Standishgate in 2018, had studied for a degree in primary education at the University of Chester - but only gained a diploma.

She was banned by a professional conduct panel after sending up fake emails from Wigan Council and the university to pretend she had fully qualified for a teaching degree.

Their report stated: "The panel concluded, on the balance of probabilities, that Ms Malley had created and/or sent the emails from one or more email accounts portraying to be from the University and the Council and in so doing sought to conceal the fact she had not obtained QTS (qualified teacher status)."

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St Mary and St John Primary, Standishgate
St Mary and St John Primary, Standishgate

It added: "The panel noted the similar characteristics between the two emails – in particular, font size, type and American date formatting along with similar errors of grammar and punctuation adopted in both emails.

"More significantly, the contents of both emails were detailed, specific and possessed similarities in nature, form and substance. In particular, there were references to marking discrepancies, backdated QTS and the financial consequences of not holding QTS."

Ms Malley started work as an unqualified teacher at the school in September 2018.

She told her employers in May 2019 that she had gained QTS and then sent the fake emails to back up the claim. But when she attended her graduation ceremony on November 5, 2019, she received a Diploma in Higher Education after failing to meet the requirements of the degree programme.

The school carried out an investigation and Ms Malley's employment was terminated and the police were informed.

In mitigation, the panel said that she was "young, inexperienced and naive" and banned her from teaching for three years.

It added: "The conduct of Ms Malley amounted to misconduct of a serious nature which fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.