A FORMER Pembrokeshire College lecturer who got drunk, bought drinks for students, and sang an offensive song while on an overseas trip has been reprimanded.

A fitness to practise committee of the Education Workforce Council found an allegation of unacceptable professional conduct proven against Michael Howard Snelling, who worked at Pembrokeshire College in Haverfordwest.

The allegations against him arose from an Erasmus trip – a student exchange scheme – to Hagen in Germany, in June, 2018.

The committee heard that during the 12-day trip there were several aspects of Snelling’s conduct which caused concern when they later became known to the authorities.

It was said that he did not accompany one student, identified only as Learner B, to her placement or back again, that during a visit to a bowling alley he b ought alcohol for himself and students, on several occasions he was under the influence of alcohol, and used the college’s purchasing card to buy drinks.

Another allegation found proven was “that on or around June 26, at an Italian restaurant, (he) made a comment which was derogatory towards Italians and/or Italian food”.

During that visit, and while in the presence of students, Snelling was said to have sung a song which was “inappropriate, offensive and included references to genitalia”.

The committee also found that he was reckless to the risk that he would be filmed by students and/or members of the public while singing the song.

The two-year reprimand imposed by the committee will expire in March, 2022, but in the meantime he will be able to continue to work at a further education institution in Wales.

He was given 28 days to appeal to the High Court against the decision.

Following the Education Workforce Council (EWC) hearing, college principal Dr Barry Walters said: “As soon as the college was made aware of the concerns immediate action was taken and the member of staff was dealt with appropriately.

“The college does not intend commenting of the work and outcomes of the EWC. The college has undertaken its duties fully in relation to legislative directives in this regard."