4 Jul 2019

Early childhood teacher stripped of registration after falsifying records

2:47 pm on 4 July 2019

An Auckland early childhood teacher has been stripped of her registration for what has been described as the "worst kind of misconduct."

Early childhood centre learning. (File pic)

Photo: 123rf

The Teachers' Disciplinary Tribunal says Praneta Sharma falsified records and left a staff member alone with up to 34 children - something that by law requires at least four teachers.

While employed at Beststart Educare in Karaka between March and May of 2017, Ms Sharma falsely recorded that she had done sleep checks on children when she had not.

BestStart operates a sleep check procedure whereby a staff member is assigned to carry out checks every five to 10 minutes.

"[On 9 May] Ms Sharma did not check on the children in the sleep room between 1.50pm and 2.35pm," said the tribunal.

"[She] was reminded of the need to conduct checks by a staff member during this time but did not do so."

Ms Sharma was also aggressive and argumentative towards fellow workers in front of children.

When applying for another job at Mt Wellies Childcare, Ms Sharma lied about her referees.

She said she had worked with certain people when she had not and she had given them higher positions when they were unqualified teachers.

"When contacted by Mt Wellies, all [those people listed] gave information to Mt Wellies consistent with what Ms Sharma had said. Ms Sharma had arranged with those people to have them give this information," said the tribunal.

Ms Sharma also pretended she had been working at Blossoms Ōtāhuhu Centre when she had never been employed there.

"Ms Sharma's written application did not include any information ... about her employment at BestStart, including the fact that she had left BestStart following the commencement of disciplinary processes," said the tribunal.

The tribunal said teachers were expected to demonstrate a high standard of professional integrity, and Ms Sharma flagrantly undermined those expectations with her fraudulent behaviour.