Vintage victory

Tes Editorial

We report today a cautionary tale of a primary teacher sacked for drinking wine with a parent, from a paper cup, at a private, after-hours gym class (page 5). After a five-year legal battle Graham Atkin has finally won his case against unfair dismissal. No doubt he will be celebrating this weekend over a well-deserved drink. As the festive season approaches, the issue of whether to allow drink on school premises is particularly topical. Are end-of-term celebrations to be strictly teetotal? Is there to be Christmas cake, but no ale; mince pies, but no Beaujolais?

Fortunately, most schools have a sensible attitude towards drink. Good heads make a point of toasting success at the annual meeting for parents and will often break out a case of wine to mark the end of an OFSTED inspection. At a time when many boarding schools are opening bars for their sixth-formers there is surely no reason to deny teachers the occasional spirit-raising tipple out of school hours. Ban paper cups by all means, but not the grape.

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Tes Editorial

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