A BRADFORD teacher was indefinitely banned from the profession after a panel found him guilty of showing up to school under the influence of alcohol, drinking on the spot and drinking. ‘greeting a colleague by saying “Yo Biatch”.
James Langley, 48, a teacher for over 20 years, served less than a month as a grade 4 classroom teacher at St Oswald’s CofE Primary Academy, having been employed on November 4 and resigned on December 2, 2019 .
The Education Regulatory Agency (TRA) found Langley guilty of four of the five allegations and the Secretary of State supported his position by issuing a restraining order with a two-year review period.
On Friday, November 29, during a meeting with staff members one and two, Langley had consumed alcohol before his presence. He smelled strongly of alcohol and hadn’t introduced himself like this earlier in the day at an information breakfast.
On more than one occasion during his employment, he consumed alcohol on school premises and shouted at the fourth staff member, “Yo, Biatch”, or words to that effect.
On or around November 25, he seemed “beside himself” so that staff member three did not feel comfortable in his presence or leaving him alone with the students.
The fifth allegation allegedly occurred on an unknown date during the time that Langley did not respond to Staff Member Five regarding protection issues involving students left alone in a classroom. The panel was of the view that the evidence was vague and open to misinterpretation as it was based on speculation.
Langley admitted the facts of the five allegations and that his behavior amounted to unacceptable conduct that could discredit the profession and fall short of the standards of behavior expected of a teacher.
On December 4, the school referred the case to the designated officer of the local authority, and on March 13, 2020, the school referred it to the TRA.
The panel was convinced that Langley had been guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and failed to meet the expected standards of the profession.
The panel found it highly inappropriate and a significant violation of teacher standards for Langley to be under the influence of alcohol while on school premises and in the exercise of his teaching duties. As a result, they concluded that public confidence in the profession would be weakened.
The panel also took into account that students should be able to see teachers as role models in their behavior. Langley’s actions constituted conduct that could bring the profession into disrepute.
In light of the panel’s findings and Langley’s full confession, there was a strong public interest consideration regarding respecting the protection of students.
The panel found no evidence that Langley’s actions were not deliberate or suggested he was acting under duress. In his witness statement, Langley expressed genuine remorse and showed a good understanding of his conduct.
The panel considered Mr Langley’s actions to be serious, but also felt that there might be a time in the future when he would be able to contribute to the teaching profession again.
The panel recommended that the Secretary of State impose a restraining order with immediate effect, with a two-year review period.
The Secretary of State added: “It is necessary to impose a restraining order in order to maintain public confidence in the profession.
“I have decided that a two-year review period reflects the seriousness of the findings. This means that Mr. James Langley is banned from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth-grade college, youth housing or children’s home in England.
“He can request that the restraining order be rescinded, but not until July 14, 2023. It is not an automatic right to have the restraining order removed.”