A teacher who brought Ketamine into his primary school, and then dropped it in the toilets, has been indefinitely banned from the profession.
Charles Hatfield brought the Class B drug to Charles Warren Academy in Simpson, Buckinghamshire, in December 2020.
The 32-year-old has now been barred from teaching indefinitely, following a professional conduct hearing by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA).
The panel heard that, on or around December 14, 2020, a small package containing a white substance was found in the school’s staff cubicles by the principal.
After a staff meeting was called, Hatfield confessed that the package was his and had accidentally fallen out of his wallet. He also confirmed that it was Ketamine.
Despite Hatfield’s disclosure that he had not used the drug while at school, he was suspended on December 16 and dismissed following a disciplinary hearing in April 2021.
During the TRA hearing, the panel was told that the package was tested by police – who confirmed the substance was, in fact, 0.476g of Ketamine.
Hatfield was handed a conditional caution in August 2021, which required him to complete a drugs course by the next month.
To the TRA, Hatfield admitted both allegations against him – the first was that he had brought a Class B drug onto school premises, and the second that had received a conditional caution from police.
The watchdog then went on to find that the teacher’s conduct fell “significantly short of the standard of behaviour expected of a teacher”.
It also noted the serious risks and consequences that could have occurred if a child had found the Ketamine belonging to Hatfield.
However, it recognised that he had owned up to his actions immediately afterward, and demonstrated a “great deal of insight and remorse” for his conduct.
In a statement, he said: “While the incident took place in the staff toilets, outside of school hours with no pupils on the premises, given it was an accident, it could feasibly have taken place at another time or another setting.
“The fact alone that I was in possession of Ketamine presented a clear risk to the pupils – whom I was supposed to protect. I fully accept the gravity of this and the potential risk it posed.”
He added that the impact of his conduct “has been and still is wide-reaching”.
“First of all, it affected the learning of my class,” he added, “They lost their teacher, their routines, and their learning was greatly disrupted.
“There is no way I can remediate for this and it greatly saddens me to have impacted their education in such a way.”
The TRA panel ultimately decided to prohibit Hatfield from teaching indefinitely, and he now cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.
However, a two-year review period was also agreed, which means he can apply for the ban to be set aside after that time.