Teacher in RockNess drug-taking claim struck off

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SCT_IAN_MCMILLAN_DN01forweb2A TEACHER has been struck off after he told a colleague he took cocaine at a music festival in the presence of two pupils.

Drama teacher Ian McMillan made the comment after attending the RockNess festival in the summer of 2010.

The 29-year-old teacher at Culloden Academy, Inverness, was today (Friday) barred from the profession.

At a disciplinary hearing in Edinburgh he admitted disclosing to a colleague “that [he] had consumed cocaine in the presence of two pupils”.

Several other charges were found proved including failing to maintain professional boundaries, failing to be aware of the potential dangers of being alone with a pupil and marking a pupil present on the register when they were not there.

A charge that he “engaged in behaviour of a criminal nature…at RockNess 2010 by taking cocaine” was dropped by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).

Mr McMillan wowed pupils at the school in 2010 by singing lead vocals in a teachers’ rock band.

A video of the event – for Children in Need – showed Mr McMillan wearing a long black wig and black leather jacket singing a rock version of Starry Eyed by Ellie Goulding.

Mr McMillan was not present at the GTCS hearing in Edinburgh.

Evidence was heard that Mr McMillan “had spoken openly about being in the same pubs and clubs as pupils in the school he taught at”.

 

Standards

The teacher “spoke to those pupils despite…counselling against this from colleagues”.

The panel, in its written decision, decided that Mr McMillan’s conduct fell “significantly short of the standards expected” and “he is therefore unfit to teach”.

They stated: “Both within and outwith the classroom setting…those behaviours fall significantly short of the standards expected of a registered teacher”.

The Panel stated that the teacher “did not seek to distance himself from pupils in social situations such as in pubs and clubs”.

They said he had “repeatedly failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries and avoid improper contact or relationships with pupils and respect his position of trust as a teacher”.

The panel said there was a “recurring theme in the evidence” of Mr McMillan “failing to maintain appropriate professional boundaries in the classroom”.

 

Unacceptable

Mr McMillan had been “inappropriately tactile with pupils, which included touching a pupil on the arm and on the waist and on at least one occasion massaging a pupil on the back”.

The fact that Mr McMillan is a relatively young and inexperienced teacher did not excuse his behaviour, said the panel.

“It should be obvious to any teacher (whatever the stage of their career) that it was unacceptable to, for example, give a pupil a means to contact him outwith school; invite a pupil into his home or mark a pupil as present on the register when the pupil was not present.”

RockNess 2010 featured FatboySlim, The Strokes and Leftfield as headline acts.

Mr McMillan recieved glowing ratings on ratemyteachers.com, with one saying “he is the best teacher i have ever had! he is so nice, and he doesn’t let anything bad pass by him. He is just THEE best!”

Another said: “he is so cool, i wish he was my bro”.

 

Admitted

Another said: “COME BACK MR MACMILLAN! we all love and miss him he was a great teacher and he was so nice and always gave you a second chance! thanks for the times in drama!”

The school’s drama department blog reveals that in September 2010 he was involved in taking S5 and S6 pupils to see hard-hitting play Black Watch.

During the hearing, Mr McMillan’s lawyer, Andrew Gibb, said the teacher admitted the charge that he “failed to avoid inappropriate communication with colleagues which is or could be perceived as being of an unprofessional nature by disclosing to a colleague that you had consumed cocaine in the presence of two pupils when you attended the Rockness music festival in June 2010”.

The GTCS dropped a charge that Mr McMillan discussed personal relationships with pupils.

The teacher had denied an allegation that he “failed to maintain an appropriate balance between formality and informality when dealing with pupils”.

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