Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Allegations of cash for classes

A Sydney public school teacher has told a corruption inquiry the parents of a student handed her envelopes containing wads of cash in the hope it would secure their son a place in a selective high school.

The New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is hearing allegations the parents of a Year Five student at Westmead public school gave money to teacher Jodie-Lee Pearce on two separate occasions.

Ms Pearce told the Commission the boy's mother met with her after school in August and upon leaving handed her an envelope containing $2000 in $50 notes.

The envelope also had a letter asking for help with English in the lead-up to the selective school exam.

Ms Pearce says she was shocked when she saw the money and ran into another classroom to show a colleague.

She has also told the inquiry the boy's father also visited her at the school in October with another envelope containing $500 and a letter asking for favourable consideration.

It is alleged the parents were trying to get their son into Baulkham Hills Selective High School in Sydney's north-west.

In his opening address, the counsel-assisting the Commission, Don McKenzie, has told the inquiry parents are eager, sometimes even desperate to get their children into selective schools.

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