A TEACHER has been banned from classrooms indefinitely after turning up to a science lesson “smelling of alcohol”.

The Teaching Regulation Agency found John Stanway taught two classes “under the influence of alcohol” and blasted “loud” pop music out of a laptop.

The science teacher also left his lesson to make a cup of coffee.

The panel found Mr Stanway, who taught at Hazelwick School in Crawley but has now been dismissed, had fallen “significantly short” of teaching standards.

The 46-year-old said in written evidence he had “spilt a lot of drinks on me and my bed” on November 2 2017.

But the next day he said he had not had time to take a shower, explaining the “strong smell” of alcohol on him.

A doctor said Mr Stanway had described consuming “excessive alcohol” the night before he went to school.

Mr Stanway claimed he could not call in sick and had no time to shower.

The teacher said: “At the time of leaving home I felt sober and that alcohol had left my system and I was safe to drive.

“Once out in the air and as the morning progressed I don’t know why but I felt the effects coming back on.”

After arriving at the classroom, Mr Stanway said he asked a colleague to supervise his class while he went to make coffee.

A witness said pupils were “perplexed”.

“The irregularity of his behaviour was noted by the students,” she said.

“It was unheard of for a teacher to leave a class to go and make a coffee.”

While Mr Stanway claimed he had put the radio on at the end of the lesson, a witness claimed he was playing “loud” pop music out of a laptop.

She said: “Some were going up to the laptop and choosing music to put on.”

Another witness said the incident had “never occurred before” in any of Mr Stanway’s classes.

A support teacher added: “Some of the students were still messing around and many were talking amongst themselves as if the lesson had not got underway.

“Mr Stanway appeared tired and disorganised. I did not think he was exercising his usual level of control over the class.”

The disciplinary panel concluded it was an “isolated incident” and acknowleged Mr Stanway reported himself as unfit to continue to teach.

He has been banned from teaching indefinitely but will be able to apply to lift the ban after two years.

A Hazelwick School spokesman said: “As soon as the school was made aware of concerns regarding the former member of staff’s fitness to teach, we immediately removed them from the classroom.

“At no point were students at any risk of harm, nor were they left unattended at any time.”