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GTCS reprimands teacher who called pupils 'beasts'

A teacher in a school for children with additional support needs has been given a two-year reprimand and conditional registration order for behaving in an offensive and inappropriate fashion towards children and other staff.

Lorraine Bloice admitted to the General Teaching Council for Scotland's fitness to teach panel that she had made a number of offensive and inappropriate comments, including referring to pupils as "beasts", one as "a boot" and another as "a fucking little shit".

A reference to "let the beasts free" had been a flippant remark which she had not realised would cause offence to her colleagues, the panel heard.

She admitted saying of one pupil that he had been "a little shit" after he physically assaulted a blind boy in the class, but accepted she should not have spoken about the child in the way she did. She also expressed regret at using inappropriate language when she said she had done "fuck all today".

She denied that her fitness to teach was impaired, however.

The panel ruled that Ms Bloice's conduct had fallen short of the standards expected of a registered teacher, but not significantly so, and that her conduct was "not fundamentally incompatible with being a registered teacher".

However, her fitness to teach was felt to be "currently impaired" although the panel found that she had demonstrated remorse for her actions and had a degree of insight into the cause of her misconduct.

"The panel also accepted that the respondent is a well-regarded teacher in her current appointment and that there had been no such behaviour either prior or subsequent to the incidents between 1 and 16 September, 2011. Nevertheless, the behaviour exhibited ... raised serious questions about her practice as a teacher," the panel ruled.

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