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Mossbourne teacher allowed pupils to take cocaine and drink alcohol at his flat

PUBLISHED: 18:44 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 18:44 20 November 2019

Mossbourne Community Academy. Picture: Joe Lord

Mossbourne Community Academy. Picture: Joe Lord

Archant

The former head of music at Mossbourne Community Academy has been banned from teaching for letting pupils take cocaine and drink alcohol at his flat.

Mossbourne Community Academy. Picture: Joe LordMossbourne Community Academy. Picture: Joe Lord

A Teaching Regulation Agency panel found Lyndon Samuel, 39, was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct for inviting two of his 18-year-old pupils to his home where he drank alcohol with them, and allowed them to take class A drugs in his presence.

The pair - referred to only as Pupil A and Pupil B - had had gone to the Crooked Billet Pub in Upper Clapton Road on March 10 after an English trip to the Globe Theatre.

They were standing outside at midnight when Mr Samuel invited them and pupil A's boyfriend, who attended another school, back to his flat nearby.

Pupil A described how once there, "they drank, listened to music and had some coke".

She confided what had happened with another teacher at Mossbourne after the sixth-form leaving party.

When questioned, Mr Samuel initially denied having ever invited them over.

But he later claimed the two students could "barely stand", and after he saw them with a large bottle of gin he thought that his flat would be "a good place for them to sober-up".

This was denied by the pupils who alleged Mr Samuel had actually gone in a shop with them to buy more alcohol before going to his home.

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And Mr Samuel later told a member of staff at Mossbourne that he and the two students had drunk alcohol together.

The panel found Mr Samuel had demonstrated a lack of integrity and had been dishonest by not being truthful during the investigation.

Mr Samuel denied taking drugs himself, and the panel could not prove he had done so.

But Pupil B, who gave evidence via video link, admitted he had taken cocaine in the flat and believed Mr Samuel would have been able to see what he was doing.

Mr Samuel's behaviour "demonstrated a disregard for the need to safeguard the welfare and wellbeing of one or more students"," said the panel, who said "pupils must be able to view teachers as role models in the way that they behave".

Before staff at the school in Downs Park Road, Hackney Downs, could complete a safeguarding investigation report in 2017, Mr Samuel, who had worked there since 2012, resigned.

He was not present or represented at the hearing, but had denied unacceptable professional conduct in an email he sent in April, in which he expressed remorse.

He said he had been "in a severe state of intoxication" and that he has "completely re-evaluated [his] life", having never allowed himself to reach such a level of intoxication since.

He added: "My lack of judgment and failure to follow the correct procedures and the shame associated with this will already haunt me for the rest of my life."

Mr Samuel was banned from teaching indefinitely, but he can appeal the decision within 28 days or apply for it to be reviewed after two years.

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