Future of drink-drive teacher yet to be decided, school headteacher says

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A school where a teacher was found to be drinking heavily at work has said the issue is being taken ‘extremely seriously’, but would not say whether the staff member will lose her job.

Headteacher at Joseph Whitaker School, David Bell, issued a statement today because of growing concerns over the future of the teacher involved.

Geeta Rana, 52, who works as a maths teacher, crashed her Honda Civic at Rainworth school in November as she was about leave for the day.

She was found to be almost three times over the limit when the police arrived.

She appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court this week where she was banned from driving for 23 months and given 80 hours’ community service.

The court was also told that she had been suspended from her job.

Mr Bell told the Chad today: “We appreciate that parents and carers will be concerned at the potential implications and a full internal investigation has taken place.

“The staff member is currently subject to ongoing school disciplinary procedures.

“It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time pending the outcome of these procedures.

“The school would seek to reassure all parents and carers of students within our care that we take our safeguarding responsibilities extremely seriously, hence the disciplinary action which has been undertaken.”

The court was told how Rana had been drinking the night before her crash to get to sleep, and then took wine in a water bottle which she drank from her desk during the school day.

When tested at the police station, she gave a reading of 220 mlgs of alcohol in 100 mls of blood. The legal limit is 80 mlgs, putting her at almost three times the legal limit.

A probation report found that Rana had been in ‘poor emotional health’ and that she had turned to drink to cope.

Speaking about her problem with drinking, defending her in court, Tim Haynes said: “There’s been a gradual build up of alcohol dependency which she has perhaps been in denial of.

“This is a wake up call. She is not resting on her laurels, she has used the support of her GP to address the issues.”

He said his client was taking medication to curb her alcohol cravings and had not touched a drop since early January.

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