Five year teaching ban follows drug and drink driving convictions

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health & Education Editor

A FORMER teacher has been banned from the classroom for five years for drug offences, drink driving and driving while disqualified.

Paul Ranson, 36, was an IT teacher at Blakeston School, in Stockton, until May 2009 when a police raid at his home in Norton exposed his secret life as a drug addict.

The Prohibition Order was imposed by the Education Secretary, Michael Gove on the recommendations of the Professional Conduct Panel of The Teaching Agency.

The panel met in Coventry to consider allegations that Ranson was guilty of conduct which could bring the teaching profession into disrepute.

Ranson was convicted of being in possession of a class B controlled drug in 2002 and of being in possession of class B and C controlled drugs in 2005.

He was also convicted of possessing a class C drug with intent to supply in 2008.

He was also convicted of driving a motor vehicle with excess alcohol in 2010, driving whilst disqualified in 2011 and of using a vehicle while uninsured in 2011.

After the hearing - which Ranson did not attend - the chairman of the panel, Fiona Tankard, said: "The escalating pattern of behaviour, from possession of drugs to possession of drugs with intent to supply and from driving with excess alcohol to a third conviction for driving with excess alcohol and driving whilst disqualified demonstrates repeated serious offending and serious lack of judgement."

She added that the episiode "also shows evidence of deep-seated attitudinal problems which leads to potentially harmful behaviour.

"Such repeated behaviour falls well below the standards of conduct expected of a teacher and removes Mr Ranson's ongoing suitability to teach."

Mrs Tankard said a prohibition order was required to maintain public confidence in the profession.

She said the panel had taken into account Ranson's financial and domestic situation and evidence of his attempts to obtain treatment.

The panel recommended that Ranson be able to apply for the prohibition order to be lifted in five year "and hope in the intervening period he will seek to successfully address his medical and personal problems".

The Education Secretary, Mr Gove, said he supported the imposition of a five year prohibition order in Mr Ranson's case.

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