The Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal has censured a teacher who was found to be drinking alcohol during the day at school.

An Assistant Principal of the school thought they smelt alcohol on the teacher’s breath and confronted them about it.  The teacher denied that they had been drinking and said the smell was mouthwash.  Rather than having mouthwash, the teacher had a partly empty water bottle which they proceeded to tip out when the Assistant Principal asked to smell the water bottle.

The teacher continued to deny having drunk alcohol, but the next day contacted the school and admitted that they had drunk alcohol and that they accepted that this was wrong.  They resigned from the school that day.

The Disciplinary Tribunal found that the conduct amounted to serious misconduct as it reflected adversely on the teacher’s fitness to practice and brought the profession into disrepute.

The teacher was censured and had conditions imposed for two years.  Those conditions include reporting to the Teachers Council with updates on her rehabilitation every three months.

The Tribunal found that a penalty short of suspension or cancellation was appropriate in this case because there was no history of alcohol abuse nor evidence of any impact on the teacher’s students.  The teacher had also acted mostly responsibly by engaging with the investigation and by taking steps towards rehabilitation.

Alan Knowsley
Education Lawyer