Banned for assault on ‘vulnerable’ pupil
Teacher seen on CCTV ‘engaged in physical struggle’ with child
A FORMER teacher has been banned from the profession after she assaulted a “particularly vulnerable” pupil at a special school in Buckinghamshire.
Sarah Clements, 35, of Marlow, taught at Westfield School in Wooburn Green, a primary school for young children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties.
A disciplinary panel was convened in April 2017 after Clements was accused of assaulting a young child at the school, whose catchment is in South Bucks and the Chilterns.
The panel, which had its findings published on May 12, heard Clements grabbed a pupil around the arm and “engaged in a physical struggle”.
The following day, Clements grabbed the same pupil, pulled them towards her and forced them outside the classroom.
Later that day, when the pupil complained of injuries from the assault, Clements said words to the effect of “shut up, you deserve them”.
The former teacher admitted the allegations and was suspended from the school, she also received a police caution for the assault.
The violence towards the child was caught on CCTV and the panel heard a statement from Westfield School’s headteacher about it.
According to the headteacher, the footage showed the pupil telling Miss Clements she had hurt him and the pupil “appeared to be visibly distressed”.
The footage showed the pupil crying after the incident.
The disciplinary panel found Clements “targeted one pupil who was partic- ularly vulnerable and young” and did not refer the incident to her line manager.
The panel found she “failed to follow extensive training she had been given” and appeared to have “blamed others” for her actions.
Alan Meyrick, who was tasked with making the decision on behalf of the panel, decided Clements should be prohibited from teaching indefinitely.
Following the decision, she cannot teach in schools, sixth form colleges, youth accommodation or children’s homes in England.
Mr Meyrick, on behalf of the secretary of state, said in the report: “The panel is of the view that prohibition is both proportionate and appropriate.
“Her unwarranted physical assault towards a vulnerable young child in her care, for which she received a police caution, was a significant factor in forming that opinion.
“There is a strong public interest consideration in protecting future pupils from unwarranted physical intervention that may lead to harm.
“Miss Clements has shown very little insight into the seriousness of the allegations and potential impact of her behaviour upon [the pupil] and the school.”
The former teacher is currently working as a tutor, with supporting references, but the panel noted that it is from a different context than classroom teaching.
Clements has been given 28 days to appeal.