Teacher caught with drugs avoids a ban

A ROTHERHAM science teacher arrested for possessing crack cocaine has escaped without punishment from his profession's official disciplinary body.

Michael Swann, who teaches at Maltby Community School, was found guilty of unprofessional conduct at a hearing of the General Teaching Council (GTC).

But he avoided any further disciplinary action after he was praised by his headteacher for being a role model to his pupils.

Mr Swann was arrested for possessing the Class A drug in Rotherham's Liquid nightclub in October 2007. He was released with a caution but officers were obliged to report the matter to the GTC.

The decision means he is free to continue teaching.

Mr Swann is only the second teacher to ever escape a disciplinary order from the GTC for possession of drugs.

Tribunals have the power to strike off, caution or suspend teachers. They can also demand they go for counselling or drug rehabilitation.

A Rotherham Borough Council spokesman said: "We'll abide by the GTC ruling but the matter of Mr Swann's future career will be entirely up to the school and its board of governors."

The GTC decided not to take any further action after looking at Mr Swann's performance as a teacher. It also took into account whether he had previous transgressions.

The professional conduct committee says in its report: "David Sutton, your current headteacher, speaks of you being an excellent role model in school and, importantly, comments that your approach to this issue has always been open and honest.

"We believe you are genuinely sorry for what occurred and recognise its gravity. We think you have the potential to make a positive contribution to the profession."

No-one at the school was available for comment due to the Easter holiday.

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