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Head is guilty of bullying

A primary headteacher who sexually harassed and bullied staff has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by the General Teaching Council for Wales.

Norman Closs-Parry, who retired last summer as head of Merllyn school in Bagillt, Flintshire, was struck off the register of teachers.

The panel upheld 23 of 31 allegations against him, finding him guilty of sexually harassing four women teachers and bullying four out of five teachers who made complaints.

Disciplinary committee members heard from teachers who accused him of kissing and touching them on the bottom, and making inappropriate comments about their breasts in which he likened them to cushions and pillows.

Vicky Williams, who was on secondment to the school for a year, described how one morning, in her classroom, she felt an arm around her shoulders.

"He whispered down my ear and said 'morning cariad' (morning, love). Before I could move he had kissed me open-mouthed on the side of my head near my temple. I was terrified for the rest of the day.

"I don't think I will ever forget the sound of his heavy breathing."

Richard Parry Jones, education director for Anglesey, who chaired the committee, said: "The behaviour exhibited by Mr Closs-Parry was incompatible with the standards expected of a registered teacher and was an abuse of his position.

"His actions were such that they could have undermined public confidence in the teaching profession. His conduct has had an adverse impact on a number of members of staff and took place over a long period of time, from 1999."

Mr Closs-Parry, of Carmel, near Holywell, who is in his early sixties, was not present at the hearing. His solicitor had written to say he had medical certificates showing he was unfit for work and asked for it to be adjourned.

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