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Drink-drive head keeps her job

An "exceptional" head convicted of drink-driving and obstructing arrest has been allowed to continue teaching by England's General Teaching Council.

Margaret Seddon, formerly head of Manor Green primary in Denton, Greater Manchester, was also convicted of failing to provide a breath test to police in a separate incident.

The GTC committee, sitting in Birmingham this week, ruled that the incidents occurred outside school hours and while she was ill, and that her actions did not bring the profession into disrepute.

Mrs Seddon, head of Manor Green when it gained beacon status, was arrested in June 2002 after refusing to be breathalysed while she sat in her car.

She was convicted in February 2003 at Tameside magistrates' court and fined pound;1,000.

Five months later, she was spotted driving at 20mph and was found to be almost three times over the drink-drive limit.

Mrs Seddon, who was present at the GTC hearing, was sentenced at Derby crown court in September 2003 to 60 hours of community service and given a 12-month community rehabilitation order.

She was given a final written warning by school governors and resigned in November 2004 for reasons not related to the convictions. She now works as a supply teacher at Glossopdale community college in Derbyshire.

Richard Winterbottom, who represented Mrs Seddon at the hearing, said her convictions were the result of illness caused by the stress of her high-profile job and personal problems.

Mr Winterbottom told the hearing that Mrs Seddon had been described as a "visionary" leader and an "exceptional" head in inspection reports and that she was now in full health.

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