Teacher gives up job battle

A teacher who won the right to return to the classroom after being convicted of smacking his daughter has decided not to fight his employer to teach again.

North Lanarkshire Council said earlier this month that the 50-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was not fit to return to his teaching post.

At the time, his solicitor Joe Beltrami said the teacher was “seriously considering” an appeal against the education department’s ruling, which followed a disciplinary hearing.

However, in an interview with The Scotsman newspaper, the teacher said he felt doubts persisted among education officials over his ability to keep control in the classroom.

He told the paper: “The question marks they have placed over my ability to keep control based on one incident involving my daughter have made it impossible for me to go back to teaching.

“How could I have ever intervened in any incident without a cloud of suspicion following my every move?

“My actions would always be subject to the closest of scrutiny. I would have been hamstrung.”

He was struck off the teaching register last year after he was convicted of assault for smacking his daughter three years ago.

Last month, three Scottish Appeal Court judges said the General Teaching Council Scotland’s decision had been flawed and ruled that it be overturned.

The teacher was suspended from his job after he was found guilty at Hamilton Sheriff Court in 1999 of assaulting his then eight-year-old daughter.

The man said the cost of taking the council to an appeal and then to an industrial tribunal was also part of the reason behind his decision.

He also described the toll the case had taken on him.

“This is a very tough time for me, particularly at Christmas, because it brings back so many happy memories of my time at school,” he said.

“There has been a tear in my eye on several occasions.”

The teacher will now be employed full-time at the council’s resource centre and library service on his teaching salary of £26,000.

He added he was concerned about the way the education system being run, likening teachers to “Butlin’s Redcoats”.

He said: “In the current climate, all you can do is stand in the classroom and look on, regardless of what is happening in front of you.

“There is no room in today’s education system for people of principle who are not scared of voicing their views. The child is now in charge.”