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Suspension lifted against gross misconduct teacher

A Fife teacher, suspended after complaining about an alleged attack by a pupil, is to return to work.

Mike Barile, a 49-year-old maths teacher at Madras College in St Andrews, was suspended after raising concerns with the school rector about the lack of action over the alleged classroom incident on September 21.

Fife Council denies the teacher was suspended for raising his concerns. It is alleged that a 16-year-old pupil kicked him and tried to head-butt him.

Mr Barile said he became concerned about lack of action following his complaint and later contacted Fife Constabulary, which is now investigating the alleged incident.

Mr Barile, who is also an associate director at Dundee United FC, and the pupil were both suspended after the alleged incident.

In a statement, the teacher said: "My suspension from work was withdrawn by Fife Council. I am delighted that common sense has eventually prevailed.

"However, I am also very concerned to report that arrangements for a disciplinary hearing will shortly be made."

Mr Barile added that he had made inquiries with the council but had not been told if the hearing concerned his conduct or not.

"I really do want to resolve this unpleasant situation, return to work after our October holiday and get on with the task of teaching my classes.

I would like to be part of an open and full discussion on the way ahead, involving Fife education officials, Madras staff, parents and pupils."

Bryan Kirkaldy, senior education manager at Fife Council, said: "Mr Barile's suspension related to a report of an incident which may have constituted gross professional misconduct.

"Investigation has indicated that it is unlikely gross misconduct took place. In this case, the suspension has been lifted at the first available opportunity.

"However, the investigation has shown that there is a case to answer and a disciplinary hearing will be held in relation to Mr Barile's conduct."

Lindsay Matheson, headteacher of Madras College, denied the school had not dealt with the situation promptly.

He said: "Contrary to reports, the pupil involved in this incident was dealt with by senior management at the time and was excluded from school."

The Educational Institute of Scotland had earlier called for Mr Barile's suspension to be lifted.

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