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Trainee loses appeal over course failure

A trainee teacher has lost his appeal against an education authority's decision to fail him during his induction year.

England's General Teaching Council ruled that Ben McLeod failed to meet the standards on planning, teaching and class management needed to complete his induction year.

The 31-year-old started at Queen Katherine school in Kendal, Cumbria, in September 2002, after successfully completing a postgraduate certificate in education in secondary teaching.

But the religious studies and personal and social education teacher soon had problems, with classroom discipline.

Despite extensive staff support and guidance concerns about his teaching increased. At the end of the year Cumbria County Council told him he had failed.

Mr McLeod appealed against the decision, saying he had not received sufficient help early enough in the year to enable him to pass. He also said that a personality clash with his head of department had generated an "atmosphere of intimidation" where he was afraid to ask for help, fearing further criticism.

However, a GTCE hearing in Birmingham last week found there was considerable evidence to show that the school had provided adequate support.

Stephen Greaves, of the GTCE, acknowledged personality differences between Mr McLeod and his head of department, but said this did not amount to "intimidation".

He said the school had dealt with the difficulties that Mr McLeod raised and that a range of other teachers had helped him.

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