Drunk Arbroath High head '˜had improper contact' with pupils

A former headteacher has admitted to drinking eight glasses of wine on a school trip before having 'improper contact' with pupils.
A former headteacher drank eight glasses of wine on a school trip.A former headteacher drank eight glasses of wine on a school trip.
A former headteacher drank eight glasses of wine on a school trip.

A disciplinary hearing was told that pupils were left feeling “shocked”, “uncomfortable” and “awkward” as a result of Gillian Rew’s behaviour.

Mrs Rew, who was sacked from her £74.000-a-year post at Arbroath High School, admitted to the charges at the General Teaching Council for Scotland in Edinburgh yesterday.

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They outline how, on a sixth year trip to Lockerbie Manor, she became drunk before she “engaged in inappropriate conversations with, made inappropriate comments to and had improper contact with pupils.”

Her admission to the charges means that the detail of what happened on the trip is unlikely to be disclosed. Police investigated her conduct but no criminal case was ever pursued against her.

Mrs Rew admitted she was “mortified” by her behaviour and at the time was drinking too much, partly as a result of working 14-hour days among hostile colleagues.

But she is fighting to be allowed to stay on the teaching register, telling the hearing: “I believe I have a future in education.”

Mrs Rew, 49, told the hearing yesterday that she did not think any of her pupils “would have been particularly alarmed” by the events at Lockerbie Manor in September 2014.

“I don’t think they would have been particularly traumatised,” she said. “I honestly don’t think they were uncomfortable - I think they thought it was a bit of light banter.”

Admitting to her actions, Mrs Rew told GTCS case presenter Kate Hart she was “mortified” by her conduct on the night of the incident, when pupils had enjoyed a fashion show, ceilidh and disco.

Outlining the reasons for her conduct, she said that she was dealing with issues with alcohol at the time and was in “great distress”

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The panel also heard from Andrena Waghorn, head teacher at Craigie High School in Dundee, who has known Mrs Rew for 20 years.

She said that Mrs Rew is “professional, committed and enthusiastic” and “held in very high regard by her colleagues in Dundee.”

The hearing continues.