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Gowerton teacher is struck off for pretending she had cancer and was dying - she is banned from the classroom for five years

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: June 17, 2014

Former Gowerton School teacher Samantha Scrine, who has been struck off the teaching register after she pretended to her colleagues she was dying of cancer.

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AN "attention-seeking" Swansea teacher has been struck off today for faking terminal cancer to trick her school into thinking she was dying.

Science teacher Samantha Scrine, 26, had already been sacked from Gowerton School after claiming she was dying from a rare form of stomach cancer.

Now she has been banned from any classroom for the next five years at least.

Miss Scrine even gave her school a pack with a CD of songs she wanted to be played at her funeral.

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And she took DNA swabs from her workmates pretending she needed to find out if they could donate bone marrow in a last bid save her life.

She later claimed she had "lost her head" and that stress had made her believe she was terminally ill.

But a disciplinary panel decided she had acted dishonestly for around nine months - and removed her from the teaching register.

Panel chairman Peter Williams said: "Miss Scrine's behaviour was dishonest, preplanned and persistent.

"This was a very serious case of unacceptable professional conduct. The conduct was deliberate. A number of her actions must have involved significant preplanning.

"It was a serious abuse of colleagues which impacted on them professionally, emotionally and in their private lives."

Miss Scrine apologised for the bogus cancer claims - saying it was caused by depression and stress.

She appealed to save her career by not being struck off. But the disciplinary panel of the General Teaching Council for Wales feared she might do it again.

Mr Williams said: "We accept she may at some point have had a mistaken belief she had cancer.

"But her behaviour was dishonest. The extensive preplanning and embellishment of her condition was deliberate.

"She poses a significant risk of repeating her dishonest behaviour.

"This behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with Miss Scrine remaining a registered teacher."

The panel heard how the funeral pack Miss Scrine gave to the school included a presentation about her life and a credit card to pay for her send-off.

After taking DNA swabs from her colleagues, she forged documents from a hospital thanking them for providing the samples.

She claimed she was undergoing radiotherapy and was too ill to teach - and her school then arranged for cover at a cost of £5,500.

Presenting officer Louise Price said: "Miss Scrine's behaviour impacted on the school and the students by denying them continuous, uninterrupted education.

"But it had the biggest effect on her colleagues, who were tearful and upset as well as feeling shameful and struggling to trust each other."

Miss Scrine, from Swansea, backed up her story by sending thousands of text messages pretending to be her own mother.

The school eventually spoke to her actual family - who confirmed she did not have cancer but was suffering from depression.

She claimed she was suffering from the effects of gallstones which led her to believe she had cancer.

She said she would go to hospital waiting rooms and take pain medication to cope with her symptoms.

Her legal representative, Angharad Booker, said: "She was a young girl under immense amounts of pressure.

"She made a mistake and she is sorry."

Miss Scrine admitted making false statements, obtaining DNA swabs under false pretences and falsifying documents from Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

She accepted unacceptable professional conduct and was given an indefinite prohibition order. She will not be allowed to reapply to teach for at least five years.

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  • DebbieT64  |  June 18 2014, 3:01PM

    I am SPEECHLESS!! Anyone who has lost family members or friends from this horrible disease will be furious at the level to which this woman has stooped. There are millions of people battling for their lives, praying for a miracle, having to endure grueling chemo or radiotherapy sessions who could only DREAM that this wasn't happening to them. My sister-in-law was taken by breast cancer at the age of just 45, leaving 4 beautiful children without a mother. She didn't even get to see her grandchildren. I suffer with bipolar/depression and nothing would make me lower myself as to pretend I was terminally ill no matter how much I craved attention. Pathetic. And a disgrace to the teaching profession, most of whom are honest and honourable individuals.

    |   -7
  • swanseatodd10  |  June 18 2014, 9:50AM

    SCUM, HOPE SHE ROTS and her friends don't speak to her ever again!!!!!

    |   -10
  • LordHafod  |  June 17 2014, 8:06PM

    Basket Case, who will probably sell her story to the media.

    |   -2
  • theparcel  |  June 17 2014, 4:56PM

    Her legal representative, Angharad Booker, said: "She was a young girl under immense amounts of pressure. At 26yrs old she cannot b classed as a "young girl"! ""She made a mistake and she is sorry." It was not a mistake, it was deliberate and calculated, cold hearted fraud! She was more concerned with losing her job than the immense damage she has caused. Can she really b trusted to teach anyone anything, especially vulnerable and innocent school children!

    |   -9
  • Francis_Dunn  |  June 17 2014, 2:56PM

    Ms Scrine's actions seem baffling and, as there was no advantage to her, appear to indicate a psychological breakdown. waunarlwydd: The banning order is for an indefinite period and that could well mean for life.

    |   15
  • waunarlwydd  |  June 17 2014, 2:30PM

    Only five years? She's a lucky girl, should be banned for life. How anyone could contemplate this deceit let alone do it is beyond belief. Dispicable is an understatement. For shame

    |   -2