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Help please as I think I know the answer but am not sure

Discussion in 'Personal' started by chubbyone, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. chubbyone

    chubbyone Occasional commenter

    I was asked today some questions regarding a member of staff being investigated for alcohol in the workplace. As a non drinker I was honest and said that have smelt it on them a couple of times but because it wasn't regular and no other signs, I could smell alcohol 100 miles away to be honest so I thought on the first occasion it was just me. General chat one day and someone said to me does person x smell of alcohol? Unfortunately that day I resembled Rudolph the red nose reindeer so my sense of smell had gone straight out of the window. When asked if I had any concerns about the member of staff and alcohol today I basically said what I have just typed. It would seem that they are obviously being investigated As an allegation has been made. I feel awful now thinking I was not being paranoid when I smelt it and as duty of care to the children I should have reported it. Then again it was only once so like I said today if I had constantly smelt it then I would have logged my concern. Can you be sacked for being under the influence of alcohol in a school? I think I know the answer. Various members of staff who the person under investigation were questioned. Just horrible really all around.
  2. doomzebra

    doomzebra Occasional commenter

  3. I thought it was called expelled.
  4. it is very sad, and horrible for you to be involved, but if this person has an alcohol problem than it is very important it is brought out into the open. It is in evryones best interests, not just the children's but also the member of staff themselves.
  5. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    A couple of times in school I smelt alcohol on a colleague for whom I had a lot of regard, but I chose to give him the benefit of the doubt and said nothing. Although it's clearly wrong, a whiff doesn't tell you the amount does it? Eventually, for unspecified reasons that left him not coping with his job, he was encouraged to leave and make a fresh start.

    I think you've maybe had a hint of a bigger problem that will either resolve itself or will manifest itself in more obvious ways before too long. If your conscience is telling you to notify someone, be sure to choose someone senior who's judgement you trust implicitly. You might do it in a way that doesn't identify the individual but maybe hints at their subject area, in which case they'll probably nod and tell you they know about it already.
  6. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Oh for the days when we would pack our classes off on the dot on Friday lunchtime, pile down to the car park, race to the pub and get a couple of pints in before the afternoon shift, most of the department including the hod and an smt member, only the drivers didn't drink (much).
  7. Smelling of alcohol may not be pleasant, but it is not an offence in itself! [​IMG] It may just be a case of bad aftershave, or even some medication.
    Someone with an alcohol abuse problem needs help for themselves and because of the danger they could pose to pupils. This is not something to sweep under the carpet but should be addressed immediately by a senior member of staff (if it is the Head, the Deputy may be able to handle it, or the Governors need alerting).
    I do not think one member of staff should be asking if another member of staff has something to say about a third member of staff, especially not outside their hearing. I suspect this could constitute a breach of professional conduct. [​IMG]
    If the person doing the enquiring was not the Head, I would ask them if the Head is aware of their actions and then I would approach the Head directly to ask what steps are being taken. If the person under suspicion is the Head, I would contact my Union Representative immediately.
  8. endoftheroad

    endoftheroad New commenter

    Remember once being hauled into Heads office and being accused of drinking......I had been
    using the Banda machine........how many of you remember that modern invention!!!!!
  9. chubbyone

    chubbyone Occasional commenter

    Thanks for your responses. The questions were being asked by someone by the LEA and a senior member of the school. Several people were questioned and think that the school is following correct procedures. I have concern for the member of staff as if they have a problem then duty of care is they need support. We also however have a duty of care to the children who they are involved with. Just have to wait and see if the member of staff comes back, has the support they need and the help they need. Just a very sad situation as no one likes to be involved in things like this really as feeling sorry for them but also the children they have contact with.
  10. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Yes it often was normal for staff to go to the local for alunch on a friday and have a few drinks,It never impared their teaching and behaviour.Tody we have this puritanical streak which seems to demand teachers are purer than snow(which isnt pure incidentlly)
    I have met only one woman who regularly imbibed and in the end it was senior staff who 'sorted' her out........but she drank vodka so as to not leave much smell on her breathe.
    Myself, unless drink is really imparing a co workers abilty i dont think i have the right to report them....
  11. cissy3

    cissy3 Star commenter

    Back in the eighties we went to the pub every day, not just Fri! (It was during that period of withdrawal of 'extra duties/time' whatever it was called)
    And after every parents evening!
    I think there was more of a sense of cameraderie in those days.
    And yes, I too remember the good old Banda, although I never tried drinking the fluid!
  12. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    I remember those Fridays too! [​IMG]
  13. madenglishgirl

    madenglishgirl New commenter

    This is all too familiar...
    As recently as 2003/4 I was working in a school where the staff would go to the pub every lunch time (to smoke in comfort, mainly) but it was soft drinks Mon-Thursday. On a Friday, it wasn't unknown for the head of PE to sink 2 pints of Stella before heading back for afternoon lessons...
  14. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    Now we would be criticsed?......wonders if the whiehall mandrins who demand such abstaince off us also abstain during their work time.. certainly lots of workers dont as far as i am aware

  15. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    I remember the Friday lunch times, too.
    I am sure that in the mornings I often have a whiff of last night's wine about me: I have a body that carries odours (garlic and cury smells can last for days!) - it doesn't mean that I am drunk, just that I had a glass or two [no crime] last night!
  16. I wouldn't normally condone drinking during work time but I've known some who have done it. [​IMG]
    I remember getting guidance (instructions?) from LA not to drink alcohol when on field trips. Is that why they became more uncommon? Certainly on trips abroad we made a policy of not drinking before noon. [​IMG]
    However, I also had the problem of a colleague who had a drink problem and was not responding well to the help which was being provided. Matters came to a head when he signed out the mini-bus to take 15 pupils for a trip but had problems picking the keys off the table. [​IMG]
    Ultimately, he was removed on a different, but also H&S-related, issue. PROVING something can be a lot more difficult than suspecting it.
  17. We had a chap where I used to work who also smelled of beer because of his night before activities. I think he was a long distance larger swimmer.
  18. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

  19. Waterfin

    Waterfin New commenter

    Ten years or so ago, staff at my school correctly guessed I was pregnant when I didn't have a glass of wine at lunchtime which was the tradition when it was a member of staff's birthday.


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