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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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There, my daughter has been made a scapegoat and accused

Customer Question

hi there, my daughter has been made a scapegoat and accused of cheating when the whole year had access to the same information at the same time. Her phone was forcibly removed, she was interred for 5hours,not allowed to contact anyone and forced to sign a statement incriminating herself. what rights does she have?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.Could you please explain your situation a little more?Alex
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
hi Alex, my daughter is doing her a-levels. Last week a friend emailed her with some handwritten questions and asked for her thoughts on how to answer them. the same email went out to least 35 other people in her year. On tuesday 5 students including my daughter were forced into a room at school and accused by the head of department of cheating on the Chemistry EMPA that they took last Friday. The questions my daughter answered were all publicly available. The 5 children were isolated in a room, interrogated for 45 minutes and told to sign statements where the teachers told them what to write. They were told they would not be allowed to leave the room until the signed the papers. They were then kept for a further 4 hours in the room, and not allowed to contact anyone. She had done nothing wrong that i can see. Only the 5 are being hung out to dry rather than the whole year. Listening to her, i feel her human rights have been invaded and also school made them hand over their phones and did not ask permission. I am meeting school tomorrow but what i hear they are refusing to hand over any evidence which again i am sure i can do a DPA subject access request and force them to hand over everything they have ever documented. Thoughts and advice would be appreciated.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Alex, are you still around?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
What is it you want to achieve?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
my main aim is to get these trumped up charges dropped so they don't report her to the AQA and damage her career and reputation further. Secondly i want them to publicly apologise for de-humanising her and treating her worse than a criminal is dealt with in this country, and thirdly possibly understand if I have grounds to sue them.
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
What is the charge?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
email i was sent included for your attention- anonymised to remove people's names
Dear Mrs A,
I am writing to you on my return home after a Governing Body meeting, and I expect that your daughter has by now spoken with you regarding suspected malpractice in a Chemistry examination. The matter was investigated by colleagues at school today, as we are obliged to do with instances of suspected malpractice, and I am sorry to confirm that malpractice has taken place; your daughter has admitted her own culpability in this regard. Unfortunately I am away from school tomorrow, and am unable to meet with you before Friday afternoon. my assistant will contact you tomorrow to arrange a time on Friday afternoon when we can discuss next steps with this matter, but I wished to email you before then so that you had an initial understanding from the school of where things stand at present.
All of the students sitting EMPAs were made fully aware of the expectations and regulations regarding these examinations, and of what constituted malpractice as in addition to being told verbally, they had all received emails from the head of chemistry clarifying exactly what was and was not allowed. your daughter was aware that her actions were not permitted. The directives for a school following instances of malpractice are similarly clear and unambiguous. If a candidate has signed a declaration of authentication, as all of the Chemistry students have done, then we must submit full details of the case to the examining board, in this instance AQA. They then decide what action they will take in response, and in our meeting on Friday I will talk you through our contact with the Board and the actions that they may choose to take in response.
I am sorry to be emailing you in a matter of this nature, and I do apologise for us not being able to meet any sooner than Friday afternoon. I hope that this email helps to provide a context for our meeting at which I will be able to discuss with you my understanding of what happens next and will be able to answer any questions that you may have.
Kind regards,
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
my daughter was forced to admit culpability by the head of department in the statement, and so far nothing that she had access to would have given rise to malpractice or unfair advantage
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
the irony is she has been at that school for 15 years and is well known for her honesty and integrity by a lot of key members of staff. she is often sought out as a brand ambassador to represent school and now this happens...
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
I may need to think about this overnight
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Alex, i need an answer by 11am this morning. are you able to supply it within those timeframes?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
Is it too late now?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
no reply now. i am online till 1pm
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
What is the next step for your daughter in this process? Why did she admit it?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
is this a state funded school?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
its a private school and they were forced to admit it or else they were told they were not allowed to leave the room
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
the teachers told them what they had to write in the statements and made them sign it
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
ok. What is it you want to achieve or do?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Alex, i told you that last night, scroll up
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
Trumped charges. Yes I understand that. But are you prepared to go court?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
yes if i have to clear her name
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
Ok. You need to write and ask them to apologise and withdraw the charges. Say you will go to court if they refuse.If they do not them you can issue proceedings in the county court. You would complete form n1http://justclaim.co.uk/court-forms/N1-claim-form.htmlYou are seeking a declaration from the court that the charges and withdrawn and they apologise. If the court orders this and they refuse this could be contempt of court which they could be warmed, fined or sent to prison.If they defend the matter you are looking at around £15,000 in terms of legal costs and if you lose you would also be liable for theirs.Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?Alex
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
thank you. I need to go now as i have to be at school for 2pm. I will log on again when i get back
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
Sure. Alex
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
is there anything i should say or not say in the meeting before i leave you? am i ok to ask to record the meeting?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.
Yes ok to record.

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