West London teacher banned from profession after pulling out a carving knife during class

A London teacher who kept a cleaver in his desk at a previous school ‘to teach children how to make jam sandwiches’ has been banned from the profession. Dr. Jon Axl Rivers, then known as Dr. Abbott, was a teacher at Mildenhall College in Suffolk in October 2014 when a colleague defending his absence found the 12-inch knife at the top of his unlocked drawer.

Dr. Rivers, who last taught at The Green School for Girls in Isleworth, west London, was suspended from his position. According to news reports at the time, he was reported to the police and later charged with possession of a bladed article, which carried a prison sentence of up to four years and a fine of £5,000, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided this was not in the public interest and the charges were dropped after 11 months.

Dr. Rivers claimed the knife was intended to teach a lesson and told The Mirror the police investigation had been ‘eleven months of hell’. Speaking on the doorstep after the charges were dropped, he said: “The CPS admitted yesterday that they had reviewed the case and there was clear evidence that the case was being used for educational purposes on an ongoing basis.”

READ MORE: Brixton Market trader ‘Jeff the Chef’ jailed for historic sexual assault on girl, 13, after she spoke out 18 years later

Dr. Jon Rivers lied about his application to The Green School for Girls in Isleworth, West London by withholding information(Image: Google)

But Dr. Rivers was still banned from teaching after a 12-day hearing before the Teaching Regulation Authority almost a decade ago in March. In the evidence, a witness said Dr. Rivers used the ‘machete’ to encourage students to complete their work, while other anecdotal evidence in the report included allegations that he chopped it down on the desk while telling the class to be quiet are.

The panel heard that Dr Rivers initially claimed it could have been planted, and then claimed he had permission and legal authority to have it at the school. He said the knife was “an instrument of his trade” that was legitimately used for “the jelly sandwich method,” a lesson designed to teach students how to plot an accurate scientific method by instructing them on how to making a jam sandwich.

The panel accepted that the knife was used to teach the jam sandwich method, but concluded that a less dangerous knife could have been used, or it could have been kept in a safe place and the risks could be properly assessed .

The panel also found that Dr Rivers had provided incorrect information on his application form to The Green School for Girls when he applied for a job there in 2019. In 2014, he had been the victim of accusations related to the meat cleaver, and this should have been made public. to the school when asked, the report writer said. The panel concluded that this showed he was dishonest and lacked integrity.