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Biddulph teacher banned from teaching after drinking in the classroom

A teacher from Knypersley has been banned from teaching until 2023 at the earliest after she was caught giving lessons whilst drinking alcohol.

Mrs Summers, 41, from Knypersley, Biddulph, taught at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Academy in Tunstall, and has been found guilty of "unacceptable professional conduct" by the Teaching Regulation Agency.

Vanessa Summers had taught at the school since 2008, but resigned in 2019 after an investigation was launched.

In a report published by the agency yesterday, (Wednesday, 9th June), found that on 18 September 2019, Mrs Summers was teaching a year 3 class "when colleagues observed that her eyes were glazed, she was swaying, her walk was unsteady and she repeatedly left the classroom". An empty wine bottle was subsequently found in Mrs Summers handbag at which point she confirmed she had been drinking.

Mrs Summers resigned from her role the following day and a meeting took place a further five days later, with Mrs Summers admitting she had drank from a bottle of wine throughout the school day.

On 27 September 2019, Mrs Summers was caught four times over the drink-drive limit whilst picking up a child from a different school in Biddulph. It was noticed that she appeared to be drunk and before she could drive they took away her car keys and reported her to the police.

She was arrested and charged with being in charge of a motor vehicle with excess alcohol and being drunk in charge of a child.

On 28 November 2019, Mrs Summers appeared in Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court where she pleaded guilty and was convicted of both offences, was fined and disqualified from driving for 12 months.

Mrs Summers said in a statement said she had been suffering from personal problems and emotional difficulties. She also said she felt isolated and had not been supported in her role. She admitted the charges.

Mrs Summers has been banned from teaching but is able to apply to have the ban lifted in 2023 at the earliest.


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