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Reprimand for trainee teacher arrested in pub

A trainee teacher who was arrested for being drunk at a pub while looking after a child has been reprimanded by the General Teaching Council for England (GTC).

Caroline Ellis was cautioned by police after being reported by a pub landlord while she was celebrating her birthday with her partner and a child at a pub in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

Ms Ellis, who was completing the teaching practice part of a PGCE, was forced to take a leave of absence from the course and has not qualified as a teacher following the incident in January 2010.

She told the GTC that she was "deeply ashamed and remorseful" about what had happened and said she would not allow a similar situation to happen again.

In his evidence to the panel, Ms Ellis's doctor said he had "observed no indication" she was dependent on alcohol.

But the chair of the conduct committee said she wanted to record that Ms Ellis's behaviour had been "unacceptable" and that it would be "inappropriate" for the GTC to take no action.

Its ruling said she had breached the code of conduct for teachers in not prioritising the well-being of children under her supervision, and that her actions could damage public trust and confidence in the profession.

"Ms Ellis's conduct fell short of the standard expected of a registered teacher and it amounted to unacceptable professional conduct," the ruling said.

The reprimand will remain on Ms Ellis's file for two years, although the GTC said it should not stop her finishing her training, should she wish to.

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