Lee Watt, who was a modern studies teacher at Glenwood High School in Glenrothes, was given the reprimand by The General Teaching Council (GTC) Scotland after the incident in October 2020, when he was working a shift for Supporting Positive Paths – which aims to help children with additional support needs.
A GTC panel examined allegations that the teacher “had an illegal drug in his possession, during a shift”.
During a car journey, Watt was seen to have left a bag of white powder on the back seat when he got out of the car – while there was a vulnerable young person also in the rear of the vehicle.
When Watt returned to the car he was witnessed putting the bag of powder in his pocket.
The GTC panel heard that Watt “admitted to being in possession of what he believed to be a drug at work, although he did not know what it was”.
Watt told the GTC he had found the bag of white powder at home after having some friends over, and had picked it up with the intention of disposing it.
On 13 October 2020, Watt was helping a colleague in assisting with a vulnerable young person.
The panel heard: “At the time, the Teacher was employed by Supporting Positive Paths and was on shift work alongside a colleague, assisting with a young person. The Teacher’s colleague reported to the employer having observed a packet of white powder which appeared to have been left by the Teacher on the back seat of the car when he exited the vehicle. Upon his return to the car, the Teacher was observed to have returned the packet of white powder to his pocket. Throughout the car journey, the Teacher’s presence had been required to assist with the vulnerable young person, who was also present in the back seat.”
The GTC heard the colleague reported the matter to their superiors who raised the issue with Watt, who admitted to having had the packet.The panel heard Watt confirmed his belief that it was a drug of some form.
He was dismissed from his employment, however the matter was not reported to Police Scotland.
Examining Watt’s fitness to teach, the GTS panel said: “At the time of the allegation, the teacher’s conduct fell short of the standards expected of a registered teacher.
"Given that the Panel had found the teacher guilty of misconduct it then required to consider whether the shortfalls identified by the conduct were remediable.
"The Panel concluded that they were remediable.
"The Panel also concluded that the Teacher had gone some way to remediate the misconduct. In the response to the Notice of Investigation, the Teacher demonstrated insight into the misconduct and also remorse.
"The Teacher stated he had left the teaching profession, seeking employment out with the field of education. The Panel concluded that there was a low risk of reoccurrence.”
Earlier this month Watt, who is not currently working as a teacher, admitted the allegations and accepted the reprimand.
It will remain against his name for a period of 12 months in GTC Scotland’s records.