Teacher reprimanded for possessing cocaine

22nd February 2013 at 00:00
Behaviour fell short of professional code after wedding was cancelled, finds GTCS panel

A maths teacher who was convicted and fined #163;175 for possession of cocaine has received an 18-month reprimand by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

Michael Kelly, who was sentenced at Airdrie Sheriff Court last May for the drugs offence, was found to have fallen short of the standards set out in the Code of Professionalism and Conduct by the GTCS's fitness to teach panel.

But the panel decided not to strike him off the register because his actions had not involved an abuse of trust and had caused no harm to children or pupils.

Mr Kelly's actions had been a direct response to the unexpected cancellation of his wedding, the panel heard in evidence. He had drunk all the alcohol in his house and then gone to a pub with friends. When his friends left, he had joined another group and then invited them back to his house. They had taken cocaine with them, unknown to Mr Kelly, who had contributed money to a kitty in the belief it was for more alcohol, not drugs.

The next day, he awoke to find police officers at his bedside; they had been called to investigate a noise complaint and had found cocaine on the mirror in his room.

Mr Kelly had pled guilty to possession of the Class A drug, but the low level of fine reflected the fact that only a small quantity of cocaine was involved.

The panel said he had shown awareness of the impact of his conduct, and resulting suspension, on pupils and other teachers.

"The matter is a serious one but the conviction arose out of an isolated incident and (Mr Kelly) produced numerous references testifying to his good character and potential to make a positive contribution to the teaching profession in the future," it added.

elizabeth.buie@tess.co.uk

APPEAL DROPPED AS 'UNFAIR DISMISSAL' IS SETTLED OUT OF COURT

Dundee City Council has withdrawn its appeal against the employment tribunal judgement which ruled that former deputy headteacher Linda Ross (pictured) had been unfairly dismissed.

On the eve of the appeal hearing, which was due to start last week, the council confirmed that parties had settled out of court.

The long-running saga began in 2007 when Mrs Ross's husband, Victor, raised anxieties with his local newspaper over disturbances at Sidlaw View Primary in Dundee.

Mrs Ross was suspended. Following an investigation she was reinstated but moved to Longhaugh Primary.

She was then dismissed over claims, never proven, that she had assaulted a pupil.

The former teacher made national headlines two years ago when it was alleged by council officials that she was involved in selling inappropriate adult clothing on a website, set up by her husband in her name, that had a direct link to pornographic material.

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