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Teacher barred over cancer lies

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A teacher at a village primary school has been banned from the profession for lying about having cancer and faking NHS documents, according to Bucks Free Press.

Shaila Hussain was employed as a newly qualified class teacher at The Downley School between January 2017 and May 2019, when she resigned.

Ms Hussain, 27, admitted lying about having stage 2 tubal cancer and undergoing chemotherapy and surgery in a conduct panel hearing held by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) on February 18.

She also admitted falsifying medical history reports, a Macmillan Cancer Care support letter and a statement of fitness for work that were provided to the school.

In a “statement of agreed facts” at the private panel hearing, Ms Hussain accepted that she had lied in an attempt to halt or delay capability proceedings that The Downley School was bringing against her.

According to the outcome of the hearing, published on the TRA website, Ms Hussain made a number of false claims between 2017 and March 13, 2019, including that she had stage 2 tubal cancer, had undergone surgery on August 4, 2018, and was receiving chemotherapy.

In an occupational health phone consultation on August 28, 2018, she told a professional that her cancer was stage 2 and around September that year, she told someone else her surgery was to remove a cyst on her ovary.

She also told them that she was having chemotherapy around April and May 2018 and that she needed ongoing treatment every four weeks.

On March 13, 2019, Ms Hussain attended a capability meeting and lied that someone – named only as ‘individual H’ – had abused her, and on March 20, 2019, in a second capability meeting, said individual H was in police custody.

She was suspended on April 1, 2019, and the school arranged an independent investigation into her conduct that same month.

On April 29, 2019, Ms Hussain gave the school a medical history report that she had altered to say she had cancer that had progressed to stage 4 and had surgery to remove her right fallopian tube.

On May 1, 2019, she provided the school with a fabricated Macmillan Cancer Care letter and on May 7, she provided a statement of fitness to work document that had been falsified to make reference to her terminal ovarian cancer.

In her statement of agreed facts provided to the panel hearing, Ms Hussain admitted she had made up the name of the Macmillan support worker on the fake letter and forged a signature.

She also admitted she had not been given a prognosis of six months to one year to live.

Ms Hussain said in the evidence provided that she was unable to manipulate the documents herself, so asked someone else to help her.

The TRA panel outcome document said her actions “lacked integrity”, and were “calculated and manipulative”, adding: “The panel noted that the evidence suggested that Ms Hussain deliberately and wilfully misled the school, over a prolonged period, regarding her health and personal circumstances.

“Some of the latter falsifying of information was an attempt to halt or delay the capability proceedings that the school were bringing against her. This was both dishonest by her own standards and those of ordinary and decent people.”

They added that her lies appeared to start before the capability process was started, saying: “It was not clear to the panel exactly what event (if any) led to Ms Hussain’s lying and fabrication, which became more extreme and elaborate as time went on.

“Ms Hussain’s actions were found to be deliberate, calculated and prolonged.”

Since she resigned from her post at The Downley School, she has since taught elsewhere.

The TRA said Ms Hussain’s actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and banned her from teaching indefinitely.

She may apply for the prohibition order to be “set aside” in five years’ time, but a further hearing will need to be held to decide if it should continue or not.

Image source: Bucks Free Press

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