Black mark for teacher whose ‘idiot’ jibe was accidentally emailed to parents


A TEACHER has been disciplined after accidentally sending an email to the parents of one of her students which branded them “idiots”.

Suzanne McGurl claimed the female pupil did not do enough work in class and wrote in her jotter accusing her of lying.

But the maths teacher’s email blunder has now earned her a formal reprimand from the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS).


Mrs McGurl, a maths teacher at St Kentigern’s Academy in Blackburn, West Lothian, admitted her fitness to teach was impaired.

The 44-year-old admitted sending the email to the girl’s parents on or around March 1 this year.

A GTCS report on the case said Mrs McGurl wrote that the mother “and her husband were idiots and that their daughter, a pupil, did not do enough work in class”.

The teacher also admitted writing in the girl’s jotter: “You said you did this, why lie?”

The GTCS said that although her fitness to teach was impaired, she had “demonstrated that she has reflected on the matter, shown genuine remorse and taken steps to address the matters at issue”.

Her actions did not “constitute an abuse of a position of trust” and no “physical harm” was caused to a child or pupil, said the report.

The teacher “freely and willingly consent to a reprimand being imposed”.

The reprimand will stay on her record until March 2014, and teaching rules state she must declare it if she applies for another teaching job.

An insider said the email was intended for a colleague but was sent accidentally to the parents.

Despite the case, Mrs McGurl has a 100% rating on the “Rate my Teacher” website.

Comments left by pupils include “Great! Best teacher in school!!” and “sondd teacherrr”.

A West Lothian Council spokesperson said:  “We can confirm that a complaint was received.

“We cannot comment on individual staff members but all complaints are taken very seriously and are fully investigated.”