Drunk, brawling teacher guilty

A "stressed" primary teacher who attacked three colleagues in a nightclub at a school Christmas party has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

Andrea Hopkins, who worked at Aylesham primary in Canterbury, Kent, assaulted three women teachers. She punched one on the dance floor of Baabar's nightclub in Canterbury, threw another into a toilet cubicle door before dragging the third to the ground by her hair and kicking her in the ribs. All three teachers went to hospital to receive treatment for their injuries. Ms Hopkins was later cautioned by police for common assault.

England's General Teaching Council heard this week that Ms Hopkins had resigned from her job because of problems in her private life and was due to finish two days after the incident in 2004.

She was not present nor was she represented at the hearing in Birmingham, but in a statement said she did not remember the incident and that if she had assaulted colleagues it was completely out of character.

Andrew Faux, presenting officer, said: "I accept the incident was completely out of character on her part. She seems to have drunk too much alcohol while she was receiving medical treatment and taking anti-depressants. She is not the first person to have a lot to drink and act out of character.

"There were some very unpleasant things going on in her private life and she was under a great deal of stress. She should be commended for resigning before her private life affected her professional life and ultimately affected the children."

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