1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

alcoholism and ITT

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by hamcguin, Aug 19, 2020.

  1. hamcguin

    hamcguin New commenter

    Hi ,
    just after a range of opinions on whether being a (possibly recovering ) alcoholic should be a factor in acceptance to an ITT course .

    Many thanks in advance for response.
  2. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    In my opinion, an active alcoholic should not undergo ITT - the stresses in teacher training are incredible and it would be difficult to cope without alcohol making the person a potential liability in the classroom.

    If they were a recovering alcoholic it would depend on the strength of the recovery and the support mechanisms around them. A recently recovered alcoholic would find it hard to maintain their recovery when stressed like they would be as a teacher
  3. Corvuscorax20

    Corvuscorax20 Lead commenter

    Agree with @ScienceGuy

    I don't know of any alcoholics who have successfully kept a teaching job. I know of many teachers who have left teaching after developing alcohol problems. Alcoholism is not compatible with teaching.

    A recovering alcoholic, possibly, if they are very strong and recovering very well, and have excellent support
  4. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Yes, of course it should be a factor!

    I would expect alcoholism to be a factor in being accepted to any post or any training course, most especially those involving children or vulnerable adults.

    Am stunned this question is even being asked.
  5. hamcguin

    hamcguin New commenter

  6. hamcguin

    hamcguin New commenter

    Stunned that someone has asked for a range of opinions...?
    Deary me.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    I think the range of support would be the crucial factor here. There's quite often not enough support for people without a significant issue such as alcoholism. Stress leads people to seek outlets and alcohol is just one available. If unsure, it would be much better to seek proper medical advice on this. The TES forum should provide you with a bit of a vox pop but what's needed here is advice from other professionals.
    asnac, sbkrobson and hamcguin like this.
  8. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    I am a bit surprised by some comments here. Surely it depends on your interpretation of "recovering" and "alcoholic." The poster should not divulge any personal info but needs to go to a professional s/he knows and trusts for advice.
    VeronicAmb and hamcguin like this.
  9. ScienceGuy

    ScienceGuy Established commenter

    Simplifying the query comes down to this - is the person a risk in the classroom? For an active alcoholic, the answer has to be yes. For a recovering alcoholic the answer is no but that might change if they lapse
    VeronicAmb, TheoGriff, caress and 4 others like this.
  10. hamcguin

    hamcguin New commenter

    Thank for the replies. I am not the potential trainee, but worried about someone else.
    I cannot remember if addiction /substance abuse had to be declared on health declaration etc, and I don't think the person intends to seek support or help.
  11. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    Absolutely no judging from me at all.

    I think I would have to be further down the line though with the recovery before applying. It is a stressful job (so are many others) but there is also the moral judgment on teaching.... and I think that this is something to consider as well. Relapses are likely I guess, and teaching magnifies stuff in personal lives like this. It becomes a safeguarding issue if it even touches your work life, and that wouldn’t be pleasant.

    I think after several years clean, you’re looking at a different scenario.
    agathamorse, hamcguin and celago22 like this.
  12. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    One issue might be criminal convictions or cautions. If there are any relating to the drinking the applicant would need advice.
    TheoGriff and hamcguin like this.
  13. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    And so far you don't have a range of opinions and are unlikely to do so.

    I don't know your relation to this person, but if you are genuinely worried that they are putting children at risk, then you have a duty to report it under safeguarding. Speak to the DSL in your school and ask their advice.
    celago22 and strawbs like this.
  14. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    There's quite a bit of missing the question entirely in this thread.

    The question is not about whether somebody should do the thing.
    it is about whether they could be accepted to do the thing, and the answer is unarguably yes.
    Substance abuse or addiction is not necessarily declarable on an application, since it need not be a certified medical condition. It can be, but equally it might not be, and therefore the applicant has the option of not mentioning it in an application.
    It is possible this would be a disciplinary matter, since you could say it is a known reason to not apply for the post, and they should have declared it.
    But alcoholism is not always a known reason. It can be a reason perceived by the OP regarding somebody else considering applying, but crucially it needs to be the applicant who sees it as a reason not to apply, or a reason to declare it and have the admissions panel decide.

    So the answer is "no". To the question posted, whether alcoholism should be a factor in acceptance to an ITT course. It could be, but it does not have to be if the applicant does not have a medical diagnosis.
    agathamorse and hamcguin like this.
  15. Northernsole

    Northernsole Occasional commenter

    I am stunned at all of the people on here saying alcoholics cannot be teachers. As a student my Art, CDT, and a Maths teacher were all functioning alcoholics. As a teacher I have worked with several who were clearly alcoholics and some who were in denial, none of them were the best teachers I have known, but none were the worst by a long way. I am currently working in a school where at least one teacher is either alcoholic or has a strong dependency on alcohol. I would say that alcohol abuse and teaching go hand in hand.
  16. celago22

    celago22 Established commenter

    What kind of gibberish is this?! Teachers are supposed to be role models and should certainly not believe that it is acceptable to depend on alcohol to get you through a tough week. If a teacher turned up to work intoxicated, they would be sacked with immediate effect for gross misconduct.

    To the OP, I would suggest that your connection seeks some support as the pressures of ITT are immense.
  17. averagedan

    averagedan Established commenter

    Should you be a teacher? Probably not. Deliberately putting someone with mental health issues into a stressful situation is not going to be a win.

    Can you be a good teacher? I've seen several cases where functional alcoholics have made great members of staff.

    Right up until the alcohol no longer lets them cope with whatever issue is making them drink in the first place. Then it all goes to hell with no warning.

    So, no, not the best idea.
  18. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    Define alcoholic. That's the issue. There are lots of functioning alcoholics, lots of heavy drinkers, lots of people who drink over the government guidelines every week. Only the poster knows how big the problem is.
  19. Northernsole

    Northernsole Occasional commenter

    Being an alcoholic in no way means turning up for work 'intoxicated'. Alcoholics are not drunk 24/7 nor are they necessarily suffering from the DTs on a daily basis. Yes, there are Alcoholics who do fit that description, but there are others who you would not even suspect as alcoholics unless you knew them very well or were very observant. My father was a high-functioning alcoholic for over 60 years, I know the signs very well, intelligent people are very easily able to mask their dependence. They may be the 'social' drinker who is very social, many/most professionals who are alcoholic (in my experience) do the majority of their drinking in the privacy of their own home and can compartmentalise their drinking to a degree. You would be surprised at how many alcoholics are in teaching.
  20. jarndyce

    jarndyce Occasional commenter


Share This Page