Former teacher at school in Peterborough struck off due to Class A drugs offences
A former teacher at a school in Peterborough has been struck off after being found guilty of possessing Class A drugs.
Julian McAlpine (44) was a science teacher and tutor at Jack Hunt School in Netherton, beginning on a temporary contract before becoming a permanent member of staff from September 2016.
He was struck off following a teacher misconduct hearing last month which was convened after McAlpine admitted two counts of possessing an unnamed Class A drug at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court in Ipswich on March 12.
The charges followed a raid at his home on the morning of July 18, 2017.
The report outlining the findings of the hearing states that as police were about to execute the warrant, McAlpine left his house and got into his car, at which point he was detained.
He admitted to being in possession of the unnamed Class A drug.
His house and car were searched and drugs were seized. McAlpine stated that he had purchased the drugs for his own consumption and had never taken it onto school premises.
The police search of the school premises confirmed no evidence of any drug related activities, the report stated.
Pamela Kilbey, Jack Hunt headteacher, said: Mr McAlpine was employed as a member of staff at Jack Hunt School. He was arrested off site, and out of school hours, for possession of a Class A drug.
“This led to his immediate suspension from his position at Jack Hunt School and our co-operation with the Suffolk police force to ensure that no students on our site had been placed at risk as a consequence of Mr McAlpine’s actions.
“A police search confirmed the Class A drug in Mr McAlpine’s possession was not on the school site. Mr McAlpine has not been on the school site since the day before his arrest in July 2017 and is no longer an employee of Jack Hunt School.
“I am satisfied with both the statement and published outcome of the Teaching Regulation Agency in this case.”
McAlpine was not present at the hearing despite attempts to contact him, it was stated.
The panel noted that McAlpine had admitted his offences at the earliest opportunity. The report states that when arrested, he said: “Since my mid-20s I have had a problem with [redacted]. I would use it sporadically off and on and I would smoke it.
“For a number of years I have attempted to persistently rid myself of [redacted] from my life and I have been on a [redacted]. Lately, however, I have found things quite difficult and was tempted to use [redacted] once more.”
The panel stated: “Society has the right to expect teachers to uphold the law, promote positive values and to educate children with regard to their personal safety and the harmful effects of illegal substances.
“Furthermore, there is an expectation that teachers will be a positive influence as role models in all these respects. Mr McAlpine’s actions and behaviours were clearly at odds with these expectations.
“Similarly, the panel considered that public confidence in the profession could be seriously weakened if conduct such as that found against Mr McAlpine were not treated with the utmost seriousness when regulating the conduct of the profession.”
McAlpine can challenge the panel’s decision to prohibit him from teaching in the High Court.
He can also ask for a panel to review the decision in five years’ time.
McAlpine was fined £800 and ordered by the court to pay costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £80 after he pleaded guilty to both drugs offences.
Orders were also made that for the seized drugs to be forfeited and destroyed.