History teacher struck off for being drunk

Castlebrae Community High School teacher Neil McLean has been struck off. Picture: JP
Castlebrae Community High School teacher Neil McLean has been struck off. Picture: JP

A TEACHER who turned up for work drunk and allegedly stashed booze in a school outbuilding has been struck off.

Neil McLean, who taught history at Castlebrae High School, would make excuses to leave the classroom and before returning smelling of drink, the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) heard.

The panel upheld a charge that he smelled of alcohol while in control of pupils between August and October 2014 after both pupils and staff reported him.

McLean had also been teaching at Royal High School a few days a week, and a further charge that he was drunk on September 30 was also found proved.

A city council report into allegations about his teaching at Castlebrae said the head teacher was “shocked at his appearance, classroom control and his constant disappearing from the classroom”.

The head teacher added that Mr McLean “looked, at times, as if he was under the influence of alcohol due to his appearance and being shaky on his feet”.

Pupils also raised concerns about his behaviour, with one claiming to have seen a bottle in his jacket pocket and two claiming to have seen him filling a silver flask with vodka in class.

According to the report, the school’s senior janitor believed McLean had “hidden alcohol in the old school building” as he continually asked for access to it and had been “making excuses” to get in.

The janitor said that he “had been a fantastic teacher when he first started at the school but he then started drinking a lot and went downhill”.

McLean, who was previously dismissed by the city council, denied all the charges and did not attend the GTCS hearing.

In its decision to strike him off, the GTCS panel said: “As the Panel determined that the Respondent is unfit to teach, it directed that the Respondent be removed from the Register.

“By acting the way he had, the respondent had failed to be a positive role model to pupils.

“This was particularly so given that pupils had observed his conduct.”

A spokesman for the city council said: “It would be inappropriate to comment on personnel issues.”

When approached for comment, Mr McLean told the Evening News he he did not attend the hearing as he resigned from being a teacher a year ago.