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Teacher banned for 18 months after using fake certificate to get job at Kelowna private school

A woman who got a job at a Kelowna private school after using a “falsified copy” of a teaching certificate has been banned from the profession for 18 months.

The BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation said Nicola Julie Pendleton’s behaviour was “reprehensible and undermines the integrity of the profession in this province.”

Pendleton claimed to be a certified teacher when she was interviewed for a job at Lakeside School, where she taught from August 2018 till the fall of 2019.

But the Commissioner said Pendleton, who was educated in Australia, did not have a proper BC certificate.

She held a Conditional Certificate of Qualification between Sept. 4, 2012 and June 30, 2017 – which was then extended up to June 30, 2018 – but had failed to complete the necessary coursework to earn full certification.

<who> Photo credit: 123RF

She provided a “falsified copy” of a teaching certificate to Lakeside, the Commissioner found.

The Commissioner said Pendleton, who did not attend her hearing on April 7 of this year after claiming to suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, had been told by the province’s professional teaching body that she needed to complete several courses before her conditional certificate could be upgraded.

The Commissioner found, however, that she did not complete the courses, and did not have her conditional certificate extended, meaning she was not authorized to teach at Lakeside.

The hearing included evidence that Lakeside was advised by the teaching regulator on Aug. 12, 2019 that Pendleton’s licence had expired.

Pendleton, however, maintained that she had been granted a Professional Certificate of Qualification in January 2018, prompting an investigation by the regulator.

A panel said in a hearing decision published in May that Pendleton’s behaviour represented “dishonest conduct.”

She was found to have committed professional misconduct, but a decision on a penalty was delayed.

In a separate hearing decision released this week, the Commissioner banned Pendleton from receiving a certificate for 18 months.

The panel said Pendleton “has not acknowledged her conduct and lacks remorse and [it] is reprehensible conduct that undermines the integrity of the profession and the role of the professional regulator.”

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