'Appalling' classes lead to teacher ban

3rd June 2005 at 01:00
A primary teacher who taught a class in which behaviour was said to be appalling has been banned from teaching until he retrains.

Derek Parkes, formerly of Isambard Brunel juniors, Portsmouth, was found guilty of serious professional incompetence by England's General Teaching Council.

A disciplinary committee heard that between April 2001 and April 2004, he failed to manage pupil behaviour adequately in lessons.

Lyn Codling, head of the 300-pupil school, became aware of problems in a routine observation in June 2001, shortly after Mr Parkes joined the staff.

Mr Parkes, 56, who had taught for 10 years, was found to have failed to share and review learning objectives with pupils and ensure they made appropriate progress.

He also failed to show appropriate organisation and marking.

Ms Codling conducted informal review and helped Mr Parkes in the hope that standards in his classroom might improve. She outlined objectives for him and gave him one-to-one training.

The deputy head, Basil Lodge, advised him on class coaching and Mr Parkes'

after-school woodwork class was cut to ease his workload.

Ms Codling told the hearing in Birmingham last week that despite support, Mr Parkes's lessons remained unsatisfactory. In early 2003, she observed a lesson in which, she said, pupils' behaviour was appalling.

Ms Codling said she observed at least 15 unsatisfactory lessons during his time at the school.

Alison Storey, a school improvement adviser with Portsmouth council, also found Mr Parkes' lessons unsatisfactory. During a design and technology lesson, she felt compelled to offer pupils advice, fearing that they might cut themselves while sawing wood.

Mr Parkes took sick leave in the summer term of 2003 after the school had launched a formal competence procedure.

He returned in September, but the day after he received an unsatisfactory report from Ms Storey, he went on sick leave again.

A compromise deal was reached with the council and his contract was terminated in April 2004.

Mr Parkes did not attend the hearing, which was told that he remains in poor health.

Bob Griffiths, of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said: "The likelihood of Mr Parkes returning to teaching is very slim."

The committee issued a conditional registration order.

Mr Parkes cannot work as a teacher until he has a doctor's note confirming his fitness to teach and has retrained.

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