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Reprimand for unruly lessons

Teacher who needed help to control his lessons found guilty of serious professional incompetence. Oliver Luft reports

A maths teacher whose pupils regularly left his class to fetch senior colleagues to restore order has been reprimanded for failing to manage behaviour effectively.

Keivan Behinpour, formerly of King Edmund community school in Yate, South Gloucestershire, was found guilty of serious professional incompetence by England's General Teaching Council.

Within a month of taking up his post at the specialist sports and business college in September 2002, scores of parents had complained about his problems.

Elizabeth Shawhulme, the head, told the disciplinary hearing in Birmingham last week that pupils would often leave the mayhem of his class to find her or another teacher to restore order.

She said she received a substantial number of complaints from parents who were worried that their Year 7 children were not developing under Mr Behinpour as his classes were too disruptive.

Susan Rigby, assistant head, told the hearing that on one occasion she observed pupils in Mr Behinpour's lesson out of their seats, off task and misbehaving.

While giving evidence Mr Behinpour admitted that he had trouble controlling his classes but blamed the pupils, saying they harassed him and did not want him as a teacher.

Mrs Rigby said: "Mr Behinpour did not have any presence in the classroom and the children did not respond to him. After failing to establish positive relationships with the pupils it was impossible for him to win them back."

Andrew Ball, assistant head, told the hearing that measures were taken to help Mr Behinpour to improve, but he found it difficult to put the advice he was given into practice.

Steve Beer, a maths consultant for South Gloucestershire council, was drafted in to give him support and guidance, as was Rudi Manteghi, an advanced skills maths teacher from the nearby Grange school. She was a fellow Iranian and a teacher of high ability, and senior school staff felt that Mr Behinpour would benefit from observing Ms Manteghi's lessons and consulting with her.

He was also offered support internally at the 730-pupil school.

Mrs Shawhulme said the school had been recognised as a model school by the local education authority for its good practice in behaviour management.

In December 2003, after failing to show significant improvements, Mr Behinpour left after agreeing a compromise deal with the LEA.

Mr Behinpour, who has been a teacher since 1994, now teaches at Kingstone high, in Herefordshire.

In reaching its decision, the council commented that since leaving King Edmund school Mr Behinpour had shown improved control of discipline in his classes.


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