'This is a bit boring': teacher verdict on blood talk

19th June 2009 at 01:00
GTC rules she also failed to take adequate care of child with potential injuries

A senior science teacher has been reprimanded after telling pupils that a presentation by the National Blood Service was "boring" and that she did not like injections.

In a separate incident, the teacher ignored a child who was lying on the floor, crying and holding her leg, the General Teaching Council heard.

Patricia Davies, who was assistant head of science at Willingsworth High in Tipton, West Midlands, made the comments about the blood service's presentation while it was still taking place, the council's professional conduct committee was told.

Willingsworth High has since closed and been replaced by the RSA Academy.

The visitor from the National Blood Service told the disciplinary hearing that in three years of giving talks to schools she had never been so "disgusted" by her treatment. She said that while talking to the students, Ms Davies said to them: "This is a bit boring, isn't it?" She was also alleged to have told pupils that she did not give blood.

Pupils would have been better behaved if Ms Davies had not been there as she was a "negative influence", the council was told.

Andrea Draycott, a head of year, told the committee that she had been called to Ms Davies' classroom on another occasion by pupils concerned that a child was hurt and could not move.

Ms Draycott said that when she entered the room, Ms Davies was writing detention slips instead of attending to the pupil. The girl said she had been pushed over and while on the floor stools had been thrown or kicked at her leg, Ms Draycott said.

Ms Davies denied the two allegations, saying that during the presentation by the blood service she had asked questions to make it more interesting. She also contradicted Ms Draycott's evidence and said she had summoned a first-aider.

But the GTC found her guilty and said her behaviour had fallen short of that expected of a teacher. It imposed a reprimand that will remain on her file for two years.

"Ms Davies failure to observe basic standards of professional courtesy to the visitors from the National Blood Service was a clear breach of the standards of propriety expected of the profession," its ruling said.

"Ms Davies failed to take reasonable care of pupil A and did not ensure her safety and welfare. It is totally unacceptable for a teacher to ignore a pupil who has potentially been hurt."

Ms Davies was also found to have failed to properly manage the coursework of a Year 11 group. The GTC accepted evidence that only seven pupils had handed in their coursework and that a subsequent teacher had to start several topics again. However, the council said this did not amount to unprofessional conduct.

A number of other incidents, all alleged to have taken place at the school between February 2003 and December 2006, were not proven, the GTC said.

Drink reprimand

A teacher suffering from alcohol dependency has been reprimanded for attending meetings and becoming involved in an altercation with pupils after drinking.

Patricia Mitchell, who has been a teacher for more than 30 years, was intoxicated at a parent teacher association meeting and at a separate governors' meeting, the General Teaching Council said.

Ms Mitchell, who was a teacher at Colne Community School in Colchester, Essex, at the time of the incidents between May 2006 and March 2007, was found to have had a dispute with students one night in the town centre. She also had a conviction for drink driving.

The GTC said that Ms Mitchell deserved "significant credit" for addressing her alcohol dependency and were impressed by her progress since returning to work at a different school.

But despite the "exceptional circumstances" it found her guilty of unprofessional conduct and imposed a reprimand that will stay on her file for two years.

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