Banned: Teacher who assaulted pupil on school trip

Teacher Regulation Agency panel considers safety of pupil in assault witnessed by other pupils on residential trip

banned

A science teacher who “lost emotional control” before assaulting a pupil on a Year 7 school trip has been banned from the classroom.

Graeme Bell, 47, had been with pupils on the residential trip to Corf Camp, a campsite in the Isle of Wight, in the summer of 2018 when the assault occurred in front of other pupils.

A report by the Teaching Regulation Agency states the assault occurred at around 6pm when Mr Bell "was involved in a physical altercation" with two pupils.

However, it gives no details of the incident other than to say he was subsequently charged with assaulting one of them.

Mr Bell, who had been a teacher at Cowes Enterprise College, also on the Isle of Wight, since 2006, was subsequently found guilty of assault by beating at Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court in January 2019 . He was sentenced to a community order with 100 hours unpaid work and court costs of £400. 

'Loss of emotional control'

The TRA report published last week states: “The panel accepted that Mr Bell's actions were not pre-mediated, but involved a loss of emotional control at the point at which the offence was committed.”

The panel also noted Mr Bell had offered mitigation, “which included contextual information relating to the day that the offence took place”. However, they also noted that “the behaviour involved in committing the offence had an impact on the safety of Pupil B”.

Mr Bell, for whom no up-to-date references or testimonials were provided to the panel, was found to be in breach of teachers’ standards, including that teachers must treat pupils with dignity, build relationships rooted in mutual respect, and have regard for the need to safeguard pupils’ wellbeing.

The report states that no formal hearing took place. However, Mr Bell provided a signed Statement of Agreed Facts and "admitted unacceptable professional conduct and conviction of a relevant offence".

He was banned from teaching indefinitely but may apply for the ban to be lifted in four years.

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