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19 June 2015

Parent Communication

Dear parents and guardians

The Sydney Morning Herald has run an article regarding allegations of HSC students plagiarising essays and parents bullying teachers to increase marks. These allegations were made by the Sydney Morning Herald, who claim to have an anonymous source.

The allegations are yet to be substantiated.  We have no indication, or suspicion, that there has been any cheating in HSC final exams apart from the allegation raised by the SMH on Wednesday.

It is also important to note that at no point has the Board of Studies made any allegations regarding cheating at Pittwater House. Our current investigation has been purely prompted by the Sydney Morning Herald.

The article quotes a case of a student stuffing notes inside their uniform and being caught.  No student has ever been caught stuffing notes inside their uniform. We have previously identified an instance, in the past five years, where a student was found to have broken the HSC Rules and Procedures and severe penalties were imposed at that time.

No facts have come to light regarding parents demanding altered marks and the Sydney Morning Herald is unwilling to share more information to assist our investigations.

I am treating the Sydney Morning Herald allegations seriously.  Teaching staff have already been invited to discuss any information pertaining to the allegation with me, directly or anonymously. A meeting with the Faculty Heads has taken place, which will result in departmental level investigations.   I also welcome comments from the wider Pittwater House School community.

By way of feedback, preliminary discussions with teaching staff on Wednesday 17th June were met with complete horror and disbelief.  

I feel confident that if anything is found during our investigations, they will be isolated incidents.

I would also like to thank the many parents with whom we enjoy good relationships.  The article infers that teaching staff at Pittwater House School are routinely bullied by parents – that is absolutely not an accurate reflection of our School community.

Once again, I feel confident that we will identify the truth behind these allegations.

Yours sincerely
Dr Nancy Hillier

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