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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 May, 2005, 21:41 GMT 22:41 UK
Art head denies Harry cheat claim
Sarah Forsyth
Sarah Forsyth was given a poor appraisal by Eton's deputy head
Eton's head of art has denied claims he finished a painting submitted by Prince Harry for his AS level art coursework.

Sarah Forsyth, 30, told an employment tribunal she saw head of art Ian Burke "touch up" one of Harry's pictures.

Mr Burke said he had only helped the prince on one occasion - when he needed extra hands to stick a canvas together - and he gave no creative assistance.

Ms Forsyth is claiming unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination. She alleges Harry was given "inappropriate help".

The teacher says she secretly taped the prince admitting he was helped with his art coursework in order to back up her claim.

'Dull and passive'

Mr Burke told the tribunal: "I categorically deny finishing the painting."

He went on to describe how Harry created his work using drawing, screen printing and collage techniques.

Mr Burke also denied Ms Forsyth's allegation that, before her sacking, he had said he wanted to "get her".

He said he simply felt she was not up to the job. The school decided not to renew her contract in summer 2003.

Prince Harry
The Royal Family has strenuously denied there was any cheating

The tribunal earlier heard Ms Forsyth described as "dull, passive" and "at best semi-articulate" in the classroom by Eton's deputy headmaster, the Reverend John Puddefoot.

In a report on a lesson he observed before her dismissal, Mr Puddefoot said it "went badly from the beginning" and the pupils had little idea what they were doing or why.

"It was as if they were being taught by a zombie," he said.

He told the tribunal Ms Forsyth had been sacked because she was a poor teacher.

Robin Allen, QC, representing Ms Forsyth, said the appraisal was "abusively rude".

The Royal Family has denied Harry cheated and an investigation by exam board Edexcel found no evidence of malpractice.

The prince started officer training at Sandhurst Military Academy this week.

The hearing was adjourned until Friday.

See footage of Prince Harry's artwork

Harry teacher taped 'confession'
14 Oct 04 |  Education
Prince Harry's A-level results
14 Aug 03 |  Education

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