Company calls for drug and alcohol tests on teachers

Trevor Hall, founder and executive chairman of County Durham drug-testing company, CSI.

Trevor Hall, founder and executive chairman of County Durham drug-testing company, CSI.

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

A NORTH-EAST drugs and alcohol testing firm is calling for controversial drug and alcohol testing programme for teachers before and during employment.

The company, CSI, has recently invested £1m in its high tech laboratories at NETPark in County Durham.

It claims that there is a disturbing increase in the number of teachers who have been convicted of drugs and alcohol abuse, with one County Durham teacher being recently imprisoned for dealing and using a class A drugs.

CSI founder, MD and executive chairman, Trevor Hall states: “Teachers are responsible not only for teaching but also for the welfare of our youngsters. So, they should be tested, along with other professions, and be accountable for their criminal actions outside of school hours which clearly impact on their ability and judgment during school hours. The young and vulnerable in society need a teacher’s full attention.

“Alcohol abuse is also a major concern in the teaching environment - with growing numbers of teachers convicted for drink driving offences. The DfE is very quick to scrutinise other people working on school sites such as cleaners, building contractors and parents - imposing stringent police clearances to allow them to work on school sites but teachers appear to be exempt from such scrutiny. CRB checks are not a complete answer to the historical activities of an individual’s undetected criminal activity around drug abuse.

“At present, teachers convicted of class-B and class-C drug offences are allowed back into the classroom and a criminal record for smoking cannabis or using amphetamines is not enough to see a teacher removed from their post - nor does it show they have or are reforming their addiction. Mr Hall added: “The role of a teacher is not just to impart knowledge to learners; it is to give moral guidance and you cannot provide moral leadership if you don’t set an example. While it is widely recognised that teachers would be prohibited from teaching if they use class-A substances such as heroin, cocaine or ecstasy – this prohibition needs to be rolled out to include other classes of drug groups.

CSI will be holding a series of seminars across the North East to raise awareness of drugs and alcohol abuse and what employers can do about it.

The first seminar “The Silent Majority” - will be held on Thursday May 15 at Redworth Hall Hotel, near Darlington, with leading speakers from the medical profession, the police and industry. But Mike McDonald, North-East secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, objected to CSI’s proposals.

“CSI Durham appear to be confusing themselves with CSI Miami! Ignorance never prevented anyone from expressing an opinion and CSI seem to think they know all about teaching and learning based on nothing other than their own acute business interest,” said Mr McDonald.

“That is hardly surprising given that the two Michaels, Gove and Wilshaw, have long since declared open season on teachers blaming them for the ills of the world. That CSI should see schools as a cash cow to finance their recent investment in their laboratories is perfectly understandable given Gove’s desire to see schools run for profit. In common with Gove it would appear that CSI don’t let the facts get in the way of a good sound bite and are justifying their desire to profit at schools expense on a single case.”

Mr McDonald said teachers are subject to the same laws as the rest of the population and transgression cannot be condoned.

“ However, to base a business case on the mistakes of one individual and to tar all teachers with that brush is totally unacceptable. The majority of local authorities already have drug and alcohol policies in place to deal with any member of staff who abuses them. Local authorities do not need the seminars and tests on offer from CSI though I am sure they are delighted with the publicity generated by their press release.”

Comments (6)

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3:16am Tue 18 Feb 14

Traser says...

And every teacher in the UK must be drug tested..........

And the tests must be performed (at great expense) by CSI Labs, owned by Mr Trevor Hall..........

What a profiteering charlatan!
And every teacher in the UK must be drug tested.......... And the tests must be performed (at great expense) by CSI Labs, owned by Mr Trevor Hall.......... What a profiteering charlatan! Traser
  • Score: 13

4:35am Tue 18 Feb 14

BMD says...

Great Idea - All offshore workers are Drug and Alcohol tested.
Great Idea - All offshore workers are Drug and Alcohol tested. BMD
  • Score: 1

5:47am Tue 18 Feb 14

johnny_p says...

This doesn't go far enough. I think every human being in the World should be tested every week "just in case" they are using drugs or have been drinking. But obviously the contract should be awarded to his company.......

What a pathetic, shameless low-life.
This doesn't go far enough. I think every human being in the World should be tested every week "just in case" they are using drugs or have been drinking. But obviously the contract should be awarded to his company....... What a pathetic, shameless low-life. johnny_p
  • Score: 9

11:11am Tue 18 Feb 14

PJ Chingford says...

This bloke is really pathetic, an opportunist of the worst kind but he would get on with Gove and Pickles and how do you make the link to offshore workers??? I think it is the responsibility of all organisation to deal with this issue in their own way. But here's a suggestion for CSI if a person passes a test as clean they have to refund the fee, no, thought not.
This bloke is really pathetic, an opportunist of the worst kind but he would get on with Gove and Pickles and how do you make the link to offshore workers??? I think it is the responsibility of all organisation to deal with this issue in their own way. But here's a suggestion for CSI if a person passes a test as clean they have to refund the fee, no, thought not. PJ Chingford
  • Score: 2

12:30pm Tue 18 Feb 14

Ally F says...

I think Mr Hall must have friends at T.N.E. There's a clear and distasteful self-interest in his call for national screening of teachers. Hey, since teachers are now surrogate parents as well (making up for the lack of parenting extended to children by their biological parents) why not have compulsory drug and alcohol screening for all parents?

Shame on you Trevor Hall. It's not often I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with Union representatives, but Mike McDonald has it spot on. Please stop your teacher bashing and find more constructive ways to promote your business.

My P.E. teacher used to decamp to the local pub after sending us out on a cross-country. He routed us past the pub lounge window so he could yell abuse as we went past. We all respected him as an authority figure all the same. We thought it quite funny back then, I still do now.

BMD- I work offshore ad hoc and am not routinely tested. I've never been tested. I am liable to routine testing at any time from heli-check in and whilst offshore if any substance abuse is suspected. Summary dismissal is the punishment for failing a screening, so most guys and girls are sensible and careful.
I think Mr Hall must have friends at T.N.E. There's a clear and distasteful self-interest in his call for national screening of teachers. Hey, since teachers are now surrogate parents as well (making up for the lack of parenting extended to children by their biological parents) why not have compulsory drug and alcohol screening for all parents? Shame on you Trevor Hall. It's not often I find myself agreeing wholeheartedly with Union representatives, but Mike McDonald has it spot on. Please stop your teacher bashing and find more constructive ways to promote your business. My P.E. teacher used to decamp to the local pub after sending us out on a cross-country. He routed us past the pub lounge window so he could yell abuse as we went past. We all respected him as an authority figure all the same. We thought it quite funny back then, I still do now. BMD- I work offshore ad hoc and am not routinely tested. I've never been tested. I am liable to routine testing at any time from heli-check in and whilst offshore if any substance abuse is suspected. Summary dismissal is the punishment for failing a screening, so most guys and girls are sensible and careful. Ally F
  • Score: 1

1:15pm Tue 18 Feb 14

marilyn49 says...

Self interest is the order of the day ! How about testing other groups who hold posts of responsibility..... like M.P.'s ?
Self interest is the order of the day ! How about testing other groups who hold posts of responsibility..... like M.P.'s ? marilyn49
  • Score: -1

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