Official guidance may allow teachers convicted of drug offences or theft back into the classroom

The Mail is reporting revised guidance from the National College for Teaching and Leadership which says teachers convicted of certain drug offences or theft are to be allowed back into the classroom…

A criminal record for smoking cannabis, using amphetamines or shoplifting need not bar them from continuing their jobs, official guidance states.

Certain gambling, alcohol and driving offences are also not enough to see a teacher removed from their post, the National College for Teaching and Leadership said.

Last night campaigners said routinely allowing such offenders to continue to teach would set a bad example to their pupils…

The official guidance from the NCTL has been sanctioned by the Department for Education. It covers when disciplinary panels should issue prohibition orders, which bar teachers whose conduct has fallen below expected standards from working in any classroom.

The guidance tightens the rules in some areas – making it clear that teachers guilty of sexual misconduct and/or any crime involving indecent images of children should be kicked out, as should those convicted of supplying drugs.

But for other drug offences leading to a conviction or caution, teachers should not be prohibited from teaching unless class-A substances – such as heroin, cocaine and ecstasy – are involved, it says.

Offences involving class-B and C drugs, including cannabis and speed, would not mean an automatic prohibition order.

Last night, a Department for Education source said: ‘Obviously, teachers should be strongly disciplined if they have committed theft or used drugs. We are absolutely clear that teachers can be banned for life. 

‘Heads are responsible for considering whether a lesser punishment, such as suspension or dismissal, is more appropriate.’

More at: Drug-taking teachers let back into class: Official rules allow convicted users to keep job

Any reaction to this guidance from the NCTL? Are the proposed changes sensible or is it wrong for teachers convicted of crimes such as shoplifting or using class B/C drugs to be allowed in the classroom? Please let us know in the comments, via Twitter and by taking part in our poll…

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