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Foul-mouth teacher weeps at verdict

A teacher who called a colleague a "fucking idiot" has been cleared of unacceptable professional conduct.

Maxwell Amplett, who taught at Trench Hall special school, now called Woodlands, in Shrewsbury, burst into tears as the decision was read out at the General Teaching Council hearing in Birmingham this week. Mr Amplett, a teacher for more than 25 years admitted swearing at fellow teacher Linda Russell in school time. He also admitted mocking colleagues at after-school meetings. The hearing found this inappropriate and tasteless but deemed that in the context of a difficult situation at the school it did not constitute unacceptable conduct.

Woodlands caters for teenagers with emotional and behavioural difficulties It was said to be an extremely stressful and difficult place to work, even though there were fewer than 20 pupils at the school.

Mr Amplett, who left the school by mutual consent in September 2003, was also accused of failing to intervene physically when difficult pupils fought and put themselves in dangerous situations.

The charges included an allegation that in March 2003, he left two female assistants to break up a fight between two adolescent boys as he looked on.

It was also alleged he failed to intervene when a pupil climbed a hand rail and attempted to jump on to the roof of a mobile classroom.

The committee found that in both incidents Mr Amplett had exercised his professional judgement in not dealing with the situations confrontationally, which it felt was not unreasonable.

Mr Amplett was also cleared of other minor allegations and is now a maths teacher at Cosley secondary in Dudley.

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