Bullying C of E head is struck off

3rd December 2010 at 00:00
`Dictatorial' faith school leader intimidated staff - and governor who broached issue

A Church of England school head guilty of a prolonged campaign of intimidation and bullying against his teachers has been struck off by the General Teaching Council for England (GTC)

Bryan Eade, former head at Coningsby St Michael's CofE Primary School in Lincolnshire, took a "dictatorial" approach with teachers and contacted staff even after he had been suspended from his post.

Mr Eade, who taught at the school for more than five years before being sacked in December 2008, also bullied the chair of governors when he drew teachers' complaints to his attention, the GTC heard.

Mr Eade's behaviour was first investigated by Lincolnshire County Council, which interviewed 20 members of staff about his actions. He was suspended and then fired eight months later. He has now been struck off by the GTC for a minimum of two years.

However, despite numerous complaints against him, Mr Eade has shown little "insight" into his behaviour, the GTC ruled. "Despite having had an opportunity to reflect on his actions, Mr Eade has not shown that he has understood the effects of his behaviour," a professional conduct committee said.

Mr Eade had been credited with improving results at the school, but teachers, including the school's deputy head, complained that they felt they could not speak out during staff meetings. They described Mr Eade as "dominant".

One teacher described developing a new policy on science teaching for the school only for it to be "ripped up" in front of a staff meeting because Mr Eade disagreed with it.

Another said she felt intimidated and believed that Mr Eade was trying to remove her from the school.

The GTC found that Mr Eade had bullied and intimidated staff between September 2004 and April 2008.

But in May 2007, Ofsted inspectors praised Mr Eade's performance. Rating the leadership of the school as "good", inspectors wrote: "Leadership and management, including governance are good.

"The headteacher's strong leadership has provided continuity and positive direction for all staff during a period of many personnel changes."

However, following the evidence presented during the GTC hearing, the conduct committee said: "We have concluded that Mr Eade's actions are a serious departure from the standards of conduct expected of the profession and, in our decision, represent an abuse of the position of trust in which he was placed.

"Mr Eade's actions took place over a lengthy period of time and involved a number of members of staff. His actions had an impact upon the school environment and undermined working relationships."

Despite his success in boosting academic results, the headteacher's actions had "sacrificed" staff welfare, the GTC said.

"Mr Eade's behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with the standard of conduct expected of a registered teacher and brings the reputation of the profession into serious disrepute."


`Heavy-handed' use of restraint

A head has been told he must undergo training on child protection before returning to work after being found guilty of inappropriate physical restraint against a pupil. David Shipley, who worked at Hillcrest Community Primary School, Leeds, used excessive force on the Year 4 child, the GTC for England ruled.

"We. consider that his use of inappropriate physical restraint and excessive force on a pupil amounts to a failure to put the wellbeing, development and progress of children first," it said.

Mr Shipley admitted the allegation and said he had been "heavy handed".

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