Sussex

Crawley teacher banned for being drunk during lesson

Hazelwick School, Crawley Image copyright Google
Image caption John Stanway had been teaching at the school for just over two months when he arrived drunk

A science teacher who turned up to school "smelling of alcohol" has been banned from the classroom.

John Stanway drank heavily the night before arriving for work at Hazelwick School in Crawley, a panel heard.

He exhibited signs of being "under the influence of alcohol", and blasted pop music from a laptop during a lesson.

The Teaching Regulation Agency concluded he should face an indefinite classroom ban.

A professional conduct panel described Mr Stanway's account of the events of 3 November 2017 as "jumbled and contradictory".

In an e-mail to the school sent immediately afterwards, he said he had "felt sober" when he left home.

"As the morning progressed I don't know why but I felt the effects coming back on," he wrote.

He said he had overslept, and arrived at school without washing, showering or brushing his teeth.

'Strong smell'

He said this "would explain why there was a strong smell of alcohol on me as I had spilt a lot of drinks on me and my bed the night before".

During the lesson, Mr Stanway left the classroom to make a cup of coffee - described as an "unusual" act by the panel.

A support teacher told the panel he had then "used his laptop to play pop music" without any explanation and pupils had been choosing which tracks to play.

"The class was very noisy. It looked more like break-time than a lesson," they said.

The panel concluded Mr Stanway's conduct "fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession".

The Secretary of State for Education gave Mr Stanway, who did not attend the hearing, permission to apply for a review of the ban after two years.

In a statement Hazelwick School said: "As soon as the school was made aware of concerns regarding the former member of staff's fitness to teach, we immediately removed them from the classroom.

"At no point were students at any risk of harm, nor were they left unattended at any time."

Follow BBC South East on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Instagram. Send your story ideas to southeasttoday@bbc.co.uk.

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites