Real-life “School of Rock” teacher suspended


A REAL-LIFE Jack Black has been suspended from a Scots school over claims that he lacked the necessary qualifications to teach.

Music teacher Billy Russell was temporarily removed from his post at Inveralmond Community High School in West Lothian after it emerged that his six year career at the school may have been a sham.

Like Jack Black in the Hollywood flick, School of Rock, Mr Russell is alleged to have been posing as a fully qualified music teacher.

Mr Russell rocking out at the charity concert 

In one YouTube video, Mr Russell even sings Deep Purple’s hit 1972 tune Smoke on the Water – the same song Jack Black teaches to his students in the film.

Mr Russell is accompanied by his music students while he sings the lyrics of the famous rock song.

In a guitar solo, Russell even plays the electric guitar behind his head, proving a huge success with his screaming fans.

Pupils at the school have been shown the comedy, about a rock music fan who poses as a teacher to train a group of private school pupils to compete in a battle of the bands competition, to help them understand the situation.

Mr Russell, described by pupils as “the best” on a teacher rating website, was removed from his post immediately two weeks ago when his alleged sham was exposed.

Mr Russell playing guitar solo behind his head 

West Lothian Council are now urgently investigating the matter.

A spokesman said: “An internal disciplinary investigation is currently under way and it would not be appropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Local Labour councillor Danny Logue dubbed the situation as “shocking” and said it was like “something out of a film.”

He said: “I’m absolutely shocked. I think with all the screening that goes on nowadays it should have been picked up. I don’t know how he managed it.”

Eleanor Conor, information officer at the Scottish Parent Teacher Council, said the situation was “bizarre.”

“There are procedures that should be in place but obviously something has gone wrong here,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s something for parents to overly worry about, I’ve never heard of anything like this before, apart from in a film.

“There are very strict processes in place to follow. You get these bizarre stories from time to time, but they are not at all common.”

Mr Russell playing guitar solo 


Council leader and local councillor Peter Jones said it would not be appropriate to comment on the investigation while it is ongoing, but pointed out that further investigations would be carried out if needed.

All teachers in Scotland must be registered with the General Teaching Council forScotlandbefore they can teach in a school.

Mr Russell was required to hold a teaching qualification and to complete a course of teaching training but it is thought that he did neither.

It is not known how he remained in the teaching post for six years going unnoticed.

Online comments about Mr Russell have been positive, with one student saying: “Go Mr Russell Best music teacher EVER.”

Another added: “Nice to see Billy Russell’s ‘trademark’ guitar playing skills behind the head. Good one Billy.”

Mr Russell was not available for comment.

Inveralmond Community High School where Mr Russell taught for six years