Alex Dolan Struck Off

I read in today’s Metro that Alex Dolan has been struck off by the General Teaching Council (GTC) for a year for secretly filming pupils’ bad behaviour for a television documentary. This sounded so much like the Angela Mason case that I thought the Metro had simply got the name wrong but no – there is a second case of secret filming.

Angela Mason undertook her filming for Channel 5’s “Classroom Chaos”, whereas Alex Dolan’s film appeared on Channel 4’s “Dispatches”. Otherwise they seem remarkably similar.

Like Mason, Dolan has been struck off the teachers’ register for a year for professional misconduct. While the GTC was correct to enforce professional standards of conduct I find it a little depressing that they have done nothing to tackle bad behaviour in the twenty months between the two hearings. So possibly it is not surprising that Dolan took the same action as Mason.

I suppose I should say at this point that trying to understand someone’s motivations is not the same as condoning their actions. I am not enamoured of the thought that someone could be secretly filming me, my colleagues or the pupils. I am not an enthusiast of the surveillance society; I do not like being secretly filmed by Google UK or having my internet activity monitered by the Government so I cannot make myself be enthusiastic about spying even if it is in a good cause.

However, when management, the Government (and its sock-puppet the GTC) and many parents are unwilling to take action against bad behaviour, one can understand why these women did what they did. Judging by the recruitment adverts I see, the Government is in complete denial about misbehaviour in schools. Where were these ads filmed? Was it in a real school? If it was, does anyone know which it was because I would like to work there.

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