Teacher abandoned children on school trip

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A GERMAN teacher who abandoned wheelchair-bound children on a school trip has been given a reprimand.

Kirsten Knaack was in charge of eight additional support needs children on an outing in 2012 when she felt “too unwell” to continue.

Early on in the day she left the trip and went home, leaving eight primary school children in the care of three pupil support assistants.

Two of the children were in wheelchairs.

The GTCS gave Ms Knaack a three-month reprimand
The GTCS gave Ms Knaack a three-month reprimand

 

The GTCS declined to reveal which council Ms Knaack worked for. However, there is a Kirsten Knaack who is listed as working as a teacher for Aberdeen City Council.

At a General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) hearing Ms Knaack explained how her health had deteriorated the morning of the trip, but that she didn’t want to cancel the outing.

She said she “felt faint”, “in danger of passing out” and unable to “think clearly or pay attention to what the children were doing.”

She decided to leave the trip and go home, but admitted that in hindsight leaving the class was a mistake.

She had also forgotten to take the emergency contact list from school due to her “inability to think clearly”.

Committed

Despite admitting her blunder, Ms Knaack went on to insist she was a “committed and effective teacher” who loved her job and wished to continue her career.

She also added that she had been bullied at a previous school by another teacher, which had a detrimental effect on her health.

The GTCS panel heard evidence from Ms Knaack’s line manager Margaret Milne, who described her as a “joy to have in the team” and stated that she “never regretted employing her”.

They decided that a reprimand should be recorded against Ms Knaack’s name in the Register of Teachers for three months, and that this was appropriate given the circumstances.

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