Bogus teacher who led ‘sham of a life’ sought social gain

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A BOGUS teacher who forged her qualifications to get two teaching jobs and a role with an examining board to improve her “social standing” was jailed yesterday.

Julia Rawlinson admitted leading “a carefully constructed sham of a life” after almost a decade of deceit which saw her take on teaching roles in Northamptonshire and Devon, as well as with Edexcel.

Rawlinson, 45, was described as a “pathological liar” who concocted stories about her educational career and academic qualifications in order to create a life for herself and her family which commanded respect, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Sentencing was delayed by months as psychiatric reports were ordered, but showed no evidence of any mental illness.

Judge Philip Wassall said this was part of Rawlinson’s attempts to avoid the consequences of her actions.

Jailing her for 18 months, he said: “There is not a single word of regret or thought for the children who were at the wrong end of your activities. It is all inward looking. There was no mental illness here. You were never mentally ill.

“Your entirely self-centred approach to this has blighted the careers of everyone you taught.”

The mother-of-four, from Brixham in Devon, said she had advanced qualifications in sciences from universities in Glasgow and South Africa, where she was raised before moving to Britain.

She used those qualifications, supported by fake certificates, to obtain her first teaching job, at Montagu School in Kettering in 2004.

But by 2007, she was already having her first brush with police when it transpired she had lied about the extent of her academic background. Rawlinson was cautioned for the offence but had already taken on a role as an examiner with Edexcel, marking papers in biology.

It was off the back of this position that she was given a one-year teaching contract at Westlands School in Torquay in 2011, where she was to lead A-Level 
students through their biology modules.

But staff became suspicious when Rawlinson’s CRB check 
was returned just a few weeks into the job, revealing the police caution.

Rawlinson was arrested, and forged documents originally downloaded from the internet were recovered by police. She admitted two counts of false representation and three counts of making a false instrument when she appeared before magistrates in Devon in January.

Prosecuting, Joss Ticehurst said students had suffered as a result of her dishonesty.

He added: “When interviewed by police in October 2011, she said her whole life had been a lie. This is a case which represents a pattern of behaviour of this lady lying.

“Even as she was caught out (in 2007), she was continuing to lie and create false supporting documents to obtain jobs. This was a carefully constructed sham of a life.”

Defending, Lee Bremridge said she was “a pathological liar”.

He said: “She lied in order to create a life for herself, in order to create social standing as a teacher. She wanted social gain, not financial.”