Classroom ban for teacher who used unlawful restraint

2nd March 2012 at 00:00

A teacher has been struck off after using unlawful methods to restrain vulnerable pupils at a residential school over a four-year period.

James McMenemy, 48, also injured a pupil by grabbing him around the throat and dragging him into an office.

The pupil, who had been on his first day at Kerelaw School and Secure Unit in North Ayrshire, told the General Teaching Council for Scotland's disciplinary sub-committee that he had never been restrained in such a manner and that it was "sheer brutality".

The sub-committee accepted that, between 1999 and 2003, McMenemy repeatedly failed to comply with employer guidelines - Kerelaw was run by Glasgow City Council - on therapeutic crisis intervention (TCI) and used unlawful methods of restraint.

On various occasions involving one pupil between 1999 and 2001, he used unlawful methods of restraint which caused injury.

In October 2003, McMenemy assaulted a pupil by restraining her unlawfully; the pupil suffered a sprained wrist after he twisted her hand and arm.

And he failed to comply with TCI guidelines during a March 2004 incident in which he pinned a pupil to the ground.

Ten other charges against McMenemy, who has not taught since 2004, were not proven.

The GTCS referred McMenemy to the Scottish government under legislation protecting vulnerable people.


Kerelaw closed in 2006. A 2007 Glasgow City Council investigation uncovered up to 400 allegations, from 159 people, of physical, emotional or sexual abuse over a period of years.

A 2009 independent inquiry was highly critical of Glasgow. The authority had dismissed a number of staff, but only two were convicted of physical and sexual abuse, and one of physical abuse.

Report author Eddie Frizzell highlighted "the impact of relative neglect of an institution by senior managers 30 miles away preoccupied with reorganisation, budgets, high-level policies and internal disputes".

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