Teacher faked text messages to back criminal claims against colleague


A PRIMARY school teacher faked text messages to back up criminal allegations she made against a colleague.

Emma Richardson, who worked for North Lanarkshire Council, admitted “falsifying information” after reporting the crime to police and her employer.

But the teacher has been allowed to remain in the profession after she agreed to be reprimanded by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

A report on the case from the GTCS reveals that Ms Richardson waived her right to a full hearing.

She instead admitted to “dishonest” behaviour which impaired her fitness to teach and agreed that a reprimand would be placed against her name on the teaching register.

The statement – agreed to by Richardson – stated: “Having reported an allegation of a serious and criminal nature against a colleague to Police Scotland and your employer, North Lanarkshire Council, you did between 6 March 2012 and 6 September 2012, both dates inclusive, falsify information in the form of transcripts of text messages.

“And you did intimate to Police Scotland and your employer that they had been sent to you by the said colleague, in support of your allegation and in so doing, you were dishonest.”

The statement – signed by Richardson – added: “I admit that the above means that my fitness to teach is impaired.

“I freely and willingly consent to a reprimand being imposed upon me in view of my admission of the allegation set out above.

“I understand that this reprimand will be recorded against my entry in GTC Scotland’s Register of teachers for a period until 30 January 2017.”

The order means that she will be allowed to carry on teaching – and the “reprimand” mark will be removed from her teaching record after just one year.

The GTCS statement did not disclose anything about Ms Richardson’s original allegation or whether it was subsequently found proved. It also remains unclear whether Ms Richardson faced police action over the fake texts or disciplinary action by her own employers.

Ms Richardson avoided being barred from the profession owing to a number of factors considered by the investigation panel.

They claimed: “The complaint made does not constitute an abuse of a position of trust.

“No physical harm has been caused to a child or pupil.”

And, they added: “The registrant has admitted the matters at issue.”

They also determined that the allegations represented an “isolated incident”, the accused had “shown genuine remorse” and there was evidence of Richardson having “good character”.

Ms Richardson could not be contacted for comment.