Prince Harry's art teacher wins case against Eton

Sarah Forsyth, 30, took the public school to an employment tribunal after her contract was not renewed.

The tribunalyesterday upheld Ms Forsyth's claim that she had been bullied by Eton's head of art, Ian Burke. But it rejected her allegations that Mr Burke had ordered her to help Prince Harry cheat in his AS-level art by completing his written work for him.

It also criticised as "unprofessional" her decision to secretly record a conversation with the prince on his way to his final exam to try to support her claim.

Ms Forsyth brought the case after the school, which charges £23,688 a year, decided not to renew her contract after the summer of 2003. She also accused Mr Burke of bullying her and giving improper assistance to pupils during exams.

At her hearing in May, Ms Forsyth claimed she had written most of the text of the prince's AS-level art coursework journal, something she said was "unethical and probably constituted cheating". She also claimed Mr Burke "touched up" aboriginal-inspired artwork which was displayed to the media as an example of Prince Harry's work when the prince finished his time at Eton.

The prince has strenuously denied any suggestion that he cheated and an investigation by the examination board Edexcel found no evidence of any improper behaviour.

In its 40-page judgment, the tribunal said it was for the exam board to rule whether cheating had occurred. While the report described Ms Forsyth as consistent and "truthful" on the whole, it rejected her allegations about Prince Harry.

It ruled that her relationship with Mr Burke was so bad that it was not plausible that he would have tried to enlist her help in any attempt to cheat. It concluded that her account of the help she had given the prince was muddled and that Mr Burke's story was more believable.

She claimed she had written a sample answer for the prince to use as a guide which, in her account, was given to Prince Harry, cut up and stuck in the journal.

The tribunal sided with Mr Burke, who said that Ms Forsyth had not written the piece on her own but simply sat with Prince Harry and suggested vocabulary.

However, the panel was critical of Mr Burke and said its "inevitable conclusion" was Ms Forsyth's dismissal had been unreasonable. The panel said: "He did undermine and bully her."

Anthony Little, Eton's headmaster, was criticised for failing to look at the case fairly. The school was criticised for failing to produce any written "capability procedure" to the tribunal.

A spokesman for Eton said the school regretted its employment procedures had not been "up to scratch" but said it was pleased the tribunal had rejected the "publicity-seeking" allegations regarding Prince Harry.

He added the school would be calling for the tribunal to award no compensation to Ms Forsyth, arguing she would have been dismissed for secretly tape-recording a conversation with a pupil.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

WORLDbytes: Two-Day Intensive Camera training and Shoot: Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th March

expenses on shoots: WORLDbytes: Volunteering with a media based charity,for a ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 4 Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: A school in Tameside is currently l...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teaching Assistant

£50 - £70 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Tradewind are currently looking for ...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower