Nurse at Dauntsey's School lied about qualifications, crown court hears
Updated 1:04pm Monday 21st April 2014 in News
A school nurse earned £360,000 after lying about her qualifications to get a job at a private Wiltshire school.
Susan Crawford, 50, filled her CV with fake passes when she applied to work as a senior nurse at Dauntsey's School in 2004.
And she was only caught out when an outside inquiry into staff overtime was carried out at the £10,000-a-term establishment in West Lavington.
While she was there the school had more than 700 boys and girls aged from 11 to 18, about 40 per cent being boarders.
Tessa Hingston, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Wednesday that in 2003 Dauntsey's School advertised in the Nursing Times for a Registered General Nurse to run its sanatorium.
Crawford submitted a CV saying she was an RGN and that she had qualified from the North Devon College in Bideford. She also said she had BSc and MSc degrees in health sciences from the Open University.
During the following ten years she received about £360,000 in salary, but in the summer of 2013 there was an internal inquiry into overtime pay.
Crawford was asked for documentation from the Nursing and Midwifery Council and when it was not forthcoming further inquiries were made. The Open University said none of the courses she cited had existed.
"During the investigation she resigned her post and also moved out of accommodation provided for her by the school," Miss Hingston said.
"In October 2013 she was arrested on suspicion of fraud and theft.
"She had been a State Enrolled Nurse. She had never completed the conversion course to entitled her to employment as a Registered General Nurse."
Crawford, of Upper Minety, near Malmesbury, pleaded guilty to a fraud charge.
Fiona Elder, defending, said: "This is a woman who, for her, her good character means something to her. The loss of it affords her the shame she had experienced in the letter you would have seen."
After submitting her CV with the fake claims on it Crawford thought she would be found out at interview, but never was.
Miss Elder said: "The reality of the situation is she was a good school nurse for all those years. There was no complaint about her care at all.
"Dauntsey's was outstanding as far as Ofsted was concerned but healthcare was outstanding not only in care but record keeping. As head of that she takes responsibility for that."
Judge Douglas Field said: "You were given this job, a responsible job to be the senior sanatorium sister at this boarding school and you were there for ten yeas before you were found out.
"During that time you were there it seems you ran this sanatorium well. The welfare of the children was in your hands when they were in the sanatorium so it is a serious matter."
He imposed a ten-month jail term suspended for six months and put her under supervision for six months.