Belfast Telegraph

Teacher in Scotland probed over having Irish republican items in class


By Brett Campbell

A secondary school teacher in Scotland accused of having a 'Free Derry' Christmas card and a mug bearing the image of an IRA hunger striker in the classroom faces being struck off the teaching register.

It is also alleged that the teacher, whose name and gender has not been disclosed, used inappropriate language at a development day in August 2014, when he included the words 'Hun town' among his notes.

The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS), which published the string of allegations on its website, also accused the teacher of having "inappropriate contact with pupils personally by email".

The industry watchdog report states the staff member had "inappropriate items" within their classroom.

They included a 'Free Derry' postcard - in addition to the 'Free Derry' Christmas card - and a mug bearing the image of Bobby Sands.

The hunger strike leader died in May 1981 after a 66-day fast, less than a month after being elected MP for Fermanagh-South Tyrone.

Sands was one of 10 republican inmates in the Maze Prison who starved themselves to death in an effort to secure political status.

It is also alleged the teacher breached their employer's information technology policy by sharing "inappropriate" music with a newly qualified colleague.

The alleged incidents took place during the 2013/14 academic year, when the teacher was also said to have used "prior knowledge" of a modern studies test to "advise pupils on the areas to study in advance" of sitting the exam.

Details of the teacher at the centre of the allegations or information about the school where they were working have not been made public.

When contacted by this newpaper, GTCS said it did not comment on individual cases.

"According to our publication policy, we do not publish the names of teachers in advance of hearings," it added.

"Details are published on our website seven days in advance of a hearing."

The report outlining the accusations concludes: "In light of the above, it is alleged that your fitness to teach is impaired and you are unfit to teach, as a result of breaching Parts 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6 and 5.3 of the General Teaching Council for Scotland's Code of Professionalism and Conduct."

It means the individual involved now faces being disciplined or struck off the teaching register.

The case is scheduled for hearing by a panel of experts at GTCS in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph