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West Berkshire teacher banned for failing to disclose conviction

School says it followed correct employment procedures

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886628

West Berkshire teacher banned for failing to disclose conviction

A WEST Berkshire teacher has been banned for failing to disclose a conviction.

Vivienne Langham began working at Hampstead Norreys Primary School on January 5 last year.

Her secret shame came to light when, later that month, a pupil's mother complained that she had injured her child while moving them out of her way.

Police then tipped off school authorities that Ms Langham had been convicted of battery on January 3, 2017 at Swindon Magistrates’ Court.

Ms Langham, now aged 62, was living at Castle Dore, Freshbrook in Wiltshire, when she took a cocktail of alcohol and prescribed drugs following a personal trauma.

While being treated for the overdose at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, she lashed out at a nurse, striking him hard on the nose, the court heard.

Ms Langham admitted she had an alcohol problem to police, magistrates were told.

Tom Brymer, defending, said: “Whatever the punishment the court decides to impose, there will be other punishments as a result of her conviction, which she understands.”

But then, despite her court mitigation, Ms Langham failed to tell the school any of this and in March, 2017, after she was exposed, she resigned in disgrace.

In considering her case, the Teaching Regulation Agency’s professional conduct panel mentioned the incident with the pupil and stated: “In the panel's view, whilst it appreciated that (the) allegation impacted on a child, there was no suggestion that the act that caused the injury to the child was deliberate in any manner.”

Concerning the incident in which the nurse was injured, the panel ruled: “The panel has also read Ms Langham's evidence that she committed the offence when so intoxicated that she could not remember the event.

“The panel does consider that these offences all appear to stem from the teacher's reliance on excessive alcohol consumption; her actions indicated a lack of control and violence.”

In summing up, the panel chairman said: “In my judgement there is a limited element of insight in this case. This means there is some risk of the repetition of this behaviour.

However, he added: “The panel has also noted the remorse Ms Langham has shown regarding her actions and the desire expressed to return to teaching in due course.”

The ruling concluded: “The findings of misconduct are particularly serious as they include a finding of serious dishonesty and violence under the influence of alcohol.”

The panel barred Ms Langham from teaching but allowed her leave to ask for the ban to be reviewed in three years.

A statement issued by West Berkshire Council, issued on behalf of the school today, reads: "The school had followed all correct employment procedures including a DBS check.

"However, Ms Langham had been misleading about a pending conviction for assault which was not picked up by the DBS check.

"When concerns were raised surrounding Ms Langham, the school took swift action to end her contract."

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