Struck off for the second time – teacher whose class was like a ‘battleground’


A TEACHER who was so incompetent an entire top set maths class failed a test, has been struck off for a second time.

Janet Garner also bungled sums in front of pupils and repeatedly failed to control unruly classes, teaching watchdogs found.

Mrs Garner struggled to control pupils and her classes were like a “battleground”, witnesses told the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).



Mrs Garner, who taught at Alva and Alloa academies in Clackmannanshire, was struck off in 2011 but that decision was overturned after a court ruled the GTCS had not properly proved the allegations.

After a lengthy hearing which spanned three months a new GTCS panel has reconsidered the case and this week decided to remove Mrs Garner from the register of teachers.

Mrs Garner faced a string of charges relating to rules on teacher competence.

Case presenter Joyce Cullen said that in February 2004 test results for Mrs Garner’s S3 class at Alva Academy were so poor the “whole class of credit level pupils failed overall”.

On another occasion Alloa’s deputy head was observing a lesson in which Mrs Garner made a “basic mathematical error”.

Stuart Rycroft, a former deputy head at Alva Academy, said he had never had a teacher who had received so many complaints, and who needed as much assistance as Mrs Garner.

He told the hearing in Edinburgh: “I hadn’t previously had any experience of so many parental complaints against a single member of staff.

“I have never even had a probationary teacher who needed so much assistance as Mrs Garner.”


Mr Rycroft added: “My initial thought was that I would sit in the class and help to try and create a calmer atmosphere, but it was quite clear that the classroom had become a battleground.”

At a hearing in 2011, Mrs Garner was told by the GCTS that she would be removed from the teaching register, as they concluded that she “simply could not teach.”

However, after winning an appeal against the decision at the Court of Session in Edinburgh Mrs Garner was never officially struck off.

Mrs Garner, who represented herself at the hearing, denied all the charges.

Charges that “safety was a real concern” in her classes were not found proved by the panel.

Mrs Garner questioned Mr Rycroft’s attempts to help her, claiming that he and another teacher had not followed school policy when taking action against misbehaving pupils.


She also claimed that Mr Rycroft and the senior management team at Alva Academy failed to follow up on pupils who had received referrals for misbehaving.

Mrs Garner also questioned Mr Rycroft’s claim that he did not know of her class attainment records after 2005, as he was no longer responsible for the department.

She said: “Is it not the case that if I was incompetent it would have been evident in the attainment of my class and you would have been aware?”

In response, Mr Rycroft said he would not know as he was no longer responsible for the maths department at that time.

Announcing the decision to strike the teacher off, GTCS panel convener Forbes Mitchell said: “It was the Panel’s judgement that the Respondent has fallen significantly short of the standards expected of a registered teacher.”