Eton teacher made Harry claims after pay-off offer

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The Independent Online

Prince Harry's former art teacher rejected a pay-off of £10,000 as derisory as she accused Eton College of helping him cheat in his A-level coursework, a tribunal heard.

Prince Harry's former art teacher rejected a pay-off of £10,000 as derisory as she accused Eton College of helping him cheat in his A-level coursework, a tribunal heard.

Sarah Forsyth, 30, did not tell Eton of her claims that the head of art, Ian Burke, had helped the Prince complete pictures for his A-level art until after she was told her contract was not being renewed.

Harry was awarded a B grade for A-level art which, with his D in geography, enabled him to enter Sandhurst military academy this week.

Ms Forsyth has taken the £23,000-a-year school to an employment tribunal, claiming she was unfairly sacked. She first made the allegations, denied by the Prince and the school, in a letter to Eton's headteacher, Anthony Little, on 25 June 2003, describing an offer of a £10,000 pay-off as "derisory".

She told the tribunal in Reading, Berkshire, that she had not made the allegation simply to "obtain a few grand from the school". But she added: "I thought the £10,000 was insulting. This wasn't a demand for money. I didn't demand money from the school but I didn't think their offer of £10,000 was the way I wanted it dealt with."

Mr Little, in a statement, said Ms Forsyth was offered an ex gratia payment, but did not reveal the amount. Ms Forsyth said she had not told anyone of her concerns about the Prince's AS-level work in the year between the alleged incident and her sacking. She admitted she spoke to the headteacher after she was told of her dismissal, hoping he would reconsider. Ms Forsyth, who worked at Eton until 2003, also says she wrote text for the Prince's AS-level art coursework in 2002, after being asked to by Mr Burke, which the Prince and the school have denied.

A year later, facing dismissal, she secretly recorded a conversation with the Prince on the way to his A -level art examination which she claims proves Prince Harry confirms he had only written a small portion of the text. She said she had not made her claims until after she had lost her job because she was concerned how the school would react.

She said: "Mentioning Harry and examination cheating is like putting a gun to the headmaster's head. He either has to deal with it or ... decide that I am making it all up."

Asked by Nigel Giffen QC, for Eton, why she thought Mr Little would not deal with such a serious matter, she said: "It's not just a serious matter of concern; it's cheating with the third in line to the throne."

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