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Teacher hid bladed tool to protect pupil from punishment

Jane Callister concealed the multi-tool and did not tell head teacher the boy had it.

School: Teacher Jane Callister struck off (file pic).
School: Teacher Jane Callister struck off (file pic). David Jones/PA Archive/PA Images

A teacher who hid a bladed tool brought into school by a pupil to protect him from punishment has been struck off.

Jane Callister concealed the multi-tool and failed to tell the acting head of her Moray primary school that the boy had it.

She returned the tool to the child's home and spoke to him privately about what he had done in December 2014.

Ms Callister told the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) that she would have reported the incident "immediately" if she believed he intended to harm anyone with its three-inch blade.

She said she "had put her neck and career on the line" but believed it was "in the best interests of [the child]" as he might have been excluded if she had reported it.

Ms Callister acknowledged she had broken the teaching code of conduct but said she had only done so "to support the pupil".

The teacher told the GTCS she had invited the child to her home after he told her that he was "often left alone at home".

Ms Callister added the boy on Facebook when he sent her a friend request but deleted him after explaining it was inappropriate. She said her actions were "borne entirely out of sympathy [for the child]".

The teacher said the boy "had challenges in his life" and "wanted to give him a chance to achieve the best he possibly could".

She claimed she had not been dishonest and had only tried to "deal with the situation quietly".

But the GTCS panel said her behaviour was a "fundamental and significant breach of a core aspect of being a teacher - the maintenance of appropriate boundaries between teacher and pupil".

The panel did not believe she was behaving in the pupil's best interests and said she had failed the child.

Ms Callister resigned from her position during the disciplinary process.

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