Page last updated at 09:52 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Council drops incompetent teacher

Susan Barnard
Susan Barnard had been working as a supply teacher in Stirling

A primary school teacher who pled guilty to incompetence has been removed from a list of supply staff by Stirling Council.

Susan Barnard, 55, worked as a teacher in the council area from 2001.

However, on Friday she became the first teacher to appear before the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) charged with incompetence.

The council said she had been suspended from the supply list until the outcome of a further GTCS hearing.

Ms Barnard worked as a teacher in the Stirling region for 19 months before going on to join the supply list.

It is understood she then covered for absent staff members in 13 schools, including Lochearnhead, St Mary's Dunblane, Kippen, Cambusbarron, St Margaret's, Newton, Bannockburn, Braehead, Raploch, Callander, Cowie, Cornton and St Ninians.

Last week she appeared before the GTCS after being sacked by Perth and Kinross Council amid concerns about her performance at a range of schools between 2003 and 2006.

During the hearing she pleaded guilty to serious professional incompetence for failing to manage pupil behaviour and plan for lessons.

'Monitored carefully'

She is due to attend a hearing into her case on 3 December to determine whether she will be the first teacher in Scotland to be struck off for incompetence.

Removal from the register would prevent her from taking jobs elsewhere.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Stirling Council said there had been no complaints about Ms Barnard's work during her time at any of its schools.

She added: "Stirling Council has a process for head teachers to raise performance issues of supply teachers allocated to their school but none were raised.

"Ms Barnard was a General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) registered teacher and there was nothing in terms of her performance with us in Stirling, which would suggest she could not be used to provide short-term cover.

"Our view was that the 'dismissal' by Perth and Kinross Council was being challenged by Ms Barnard and as long as Ms Barnard was being monitored carefully by us, we should not pre-judge the outcome."

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