Drunk teacher struck off after teaching class with map held upside down

The Capital's Braidburn School
The Capital's Braidburn School
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A TEACHER has been struck off after turning up for work so drunk he taught a lesson without realising his map was upside down.

Matthew Douglas Connor, a social science teacher at a special needs school in the Capital, was found to have taught his pupils on a number of occasions while drunk.

He also had a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old former pupil – a cerebral palsy sufferer he had taught for six years.

Mr Connor, 58, denied the charge of being drunk at school and did not feel he had done anything wrong, a hearing of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) was told.
The school, Braidburn, caters for pupils aged three to 18 who have physical or mental ­difficulties.

Mr Connor was charged with going to work while under the influence of alcohol on various occasions between September 2008 and May 2009.

Supply teacher Susan Marwick told the hearing in Edinburgh on Tuesday that on one occasion Mr Connor did not have a lesson planned and finally decided to use a map with the children.

She said: “I was concerned he was drunk. He didn’t know what he was doing with the class.

“He was flustered, extremely agitated. He also had a map held upside down for some time and didn’t even realise.”

Laura Calder said that on one occasion during the school year 2008-09, she was acting as classroom assistant in Mr Connor’s class and believed he had been drinking.

She said: “He was talking nonsense in the class. It was as if he was gibbering. He was incoherent.”

Headteacher Arlene Mooney described another incident where Mr Connor appeared to be under the influence of ­alcohol.

In a statement read to the hearing, she recalled: “On March 17, 2009, I was concerned about his behaviour. He was very disorientated.

“He was sat slumped in a chair in front of the class. He did not look well.”

A charge against Mr Connor that he had a sexual relationship with a former pupil was also found to be proved.

Greg Smith, who presented the case against Mr Connor, told the panel: “He has admitted to having a sexual relationship. . . until March 2009.

“He did not believe the relationship was a disciplinary issue.”

Mr Smith added that the former pupil’s doctor said she was entirely capable of consent.

Forbes Mitchell, the chairman of the panel, said: “The appropriate outcome is that the respondent is removed from the General Teaching Council for Scotland register.”