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Nursery teacher banned from job

A nursery teacher described by a council adviser as among the worst teachers she had seen has been found guilty of serious professional incompetence by England's General Teaching Council.

Denise Liney, who worked at Strand's infants in Grimsby for 12 years, has been struck off the GTC's register for two years.

The GTC heard she was unable to stick to lesson plans, managed resources poorly, could not control difficult pupils and set children inappropriate goals. Her approach to dealing with a child who kept running out through a fire door was to lock the fire door.

Mrs Liney failed to cross the performance threshold four years ago and last year the school began formal procedures against her.

Jill Walton, headteacher, said: "I find it hard to say what her strengths were."

Kate Marnoch, a senior adviser with North-east Lincolnshire council, was drafted in to observe Mrs Liney and told the GTC: "My professional opinion was that she was not competent to teach these children. No teacher I have been involved with has been less competent."

She said Mrs Liney was such a poor teacher that assistants did not know their roles and teaching plans were not followed. She also regularly left the classroom without warning or explanation. Pupils about to enter Year 1, who could easily count to five, were not pushed to learn further. Other children became bored and began rolling around on the floor.

Mrs Walton noticed a deterioration in Mrs Liney's performance in 2000, and in May 2001 a nursery nurse raised concerns after seeing her pull a child by the arm.

In December 2002, the school's four nursery nurses said Mrs Liney favoured some pupils and shunned others. They were also worried by her alleged lack of planning and inability to interact with them.

In January 2003, Mrs Walton sat in Mrs Liney's class for an informal assessment. The teacher promptly told her to leave, claiming she was a disruption.

Mrs Liney did not return to work after the Easter 2003 break, because of illness, and her employment was terminated in November on health grounds.

The GTC committee, sitting in Birmingham and chaired by Anthony Handley, said that Mrs Liney demonstrated a lack of understanding and showed no commitment to improving her methods.

Before last week's hearing Mrs Liney asked to be removed from the GTC register, as she no longer wished to work as a teacher.

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