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A bottle of vodka before driving home

A secondary teacher who admitted to driving after drinking a bottle of vodka will still be allowed to teach, after proving that she has made efforts to fight alcoholism.

Sian Morgan, who taught at Rosemary Musker high, Thetford, Norfolk, was told by England's General Teaching Council that she must supply it with reports from Alcoholics Anonymous every six months during her two-year conditional registration order. She must not commit any alcohol-related offences during this period and must alert potential employers to the order and her convictions.

Jean Scott, committee chair, said the panel was impressed by her efforts and progress in subsequently turning her life around.

The committee heard how in July 2003 Miss Morgan left work and drove to a Tesco supermarket where she consumed a bottle of vodka inside the store.

She then attempted to drive home but was involved in an accident, in which both she and the other driver broke their collarbones.

She received a suspended sentence at central Norfolk magistrates court in August 2004 for driving with excess alcohol and without due care and attention.

Miss Morgan, who started at the school in 2002 and was representing herself, said: "I was sick at the time and chemically dependent. I did not know how sick I had been at the time. If you had told me years ago that I would drink and drive, I wouldn't have believed you. My actions were reprehensible and despicable."

After she was suspended in September 2003, Miss Morgan booked herself into a rehabilitation clinic, where she stayed for seven months.

She took voluntary redundancy from the school in August 2004.

She said: "After I recognised my illness I returned home to Stirling where I voluntarily committed myself into a rehabilitation clinic on the Borders.

"Following this period I took up a two-year after-care plan which I attended for two years.

"I am a recovering alcoholic but I still wanted to be part of education.

Since early 2005 I have worked as a voluntary tutor with Stirling council adult learning team. I also do advisory work for Forth Valley AA in Stirling."

She added: "My brother died two months ago and even then I resisted any temptation to drink."

Anne Right, a member of her support group, said Miss Morgan's progress was impressive and said she doubted she would return to alcohol abuse.

Miss Morgan said she would like to work in special education.

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