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Hearing-impaired teacher struck off

An Aberdeen primary teacher has become the second teacher in Scotland to be struck off for incompetence.

Christine Alexander, who had already resigned as a teacher and did not contest the case, worked at Middleton Park Primary and failed to meet the GTCS standard for registration between March 2008 and June 2009. Her brother later said that her problems stemmed largely from profound deafness.

A list of shortcomings included failing to match work to pupils' needs and abilities, resulting in pupils being placed in the wrong groups. Colleagues who worked with the class were unclear about where pupils were in their learning.

Ms Alexander failed to understand and apply the principles of assessment in most curriculum areas, and did not grasp the principle of fast-tracking more able pupils.

She did not ensure pupils had the correct reading books, or that they had a book at all, and did not keep adequate records of reading work.

The GTCS's disciplinary sub-committee noted that, despite receiving support for 14 months, she had not grasped how to use the results of assessment.

The decision to remove Ms Alexander from the teaching register was taken in the interests of "pupils' welfare", it said. The sub-committee said planning and assessment "fell far short of the standard required", that her expectations of pupils were "misguided", and there were "gaps in pupil knowledge".

In a letter to a daily newspaper this week, her brother, James Alexander, said she suffered from progressive hearing loss and had recently been diagnosed as profoundly deaf. This had caused "helplessness and embarrassment", and she felt her only option was to resign.

He said his sister had taught competently for many years before her condition deteriorated.

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