Putney Primary Teacher Drunk in Charge of Class

Penny Truman had consumed a bottle of wine during lunch break


Primary Schools In Putney

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A teacher at Hotham Primary School in Putney has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct after returning to class after drinking a bottle of wine at lunch-time.

The General Teaching Council in Birmingham heard that in January 2009, 51 year old Penny Truman, (who had taught at the school for seven years) attempted to teach four & five year olds when inebriated.

The following day she claimed that her stumbling and slurring of words were the result of a severe migraine. Fellow teachers called for ambulance assuming she was suffering a stroke However, the paramedics who were called to the school had determined that she was drunk.

Carl Phillips, Chairman of the bench said:
'On 5 January 2009, she drank a bottle of wine during lunch break and subsequently returned to school to undertake her duties, which included the supervision of children, whilst under the influence of alcohol.

He continued:
'We have decided that having consumed such a quantity of alcohol would have led to Mrs Truman being unfit to perform her duties as a classroom teacher.
We have decided that Mrs Truman's actions have the potential to bring the reputation and standing of the profession into serious disrepute.'

The panel did not ban Ms Truman from teaching but have imposed a conditional registration order, instructing her to provide a 'satisfactory medical report' on her mental health condition and alcohol dependency before she returns to teaching.

Mr Phillips added:
'She was clearly going through a period of personal stress, apparently deteriorating health, she suffered a family bereavement at the time and was exhausted.
These factors appear to have had a cumulative effect upon her.'

Ms Truman, has 28 days to appeal the ruling.

October 25th, 2011