Deputy 'bullied' primary pupils

26th November 2004 at 00:00
Teacher accused of forcing children to help him in his feud with head, reports Oliver Luft.

A deputy head who allegedly threatened and bullied his primary school pupils is facing charges of unacceptable professional conduct.

Andrew Queen was sacked from St Martin's Church of England primary in Liskeard, Cornwall, after forcing pupils to write and sign testimonies detailing their private conversations with the school head about his conduct.

He was dismissed in September 2003 on grounds of unacceptable conduct, an appeal was rejected and he has now appeared before England's General Teaching Council accused of unacceptable professional conduct.

The GTC, sitting in Birmingham, heard that several pupils had complained to headteacher Susan Green that Mr Queen had shouted at and frightened children and failed to mark their work.

Three pupils were removed from his class because of his conduct and Mrs Green received six complaints from parents over eight days in June 2003.

One parent said: "All trust with Mr Queen had gone."

Mr Queen, who had taught at the school since 1986, admitted asking pupils to write accounts of their conversations with the head but said he did not believe it had caused them undue distress.

He was on a final written warning after giving young children inappropriate information during a sex education lesson. He also claimed that Mrs Green had been campaigning to undermine him since her arrival in 1999.

During 20001 Mr Queen took a year's unpaid leave. When he returned a colleague had been appointed to the newly-created role of assistant head, and Mr Queen was relieved of his duties for teaching maths and PE.

Mrs Green denied asking parents to write letters of complaint about Mr Queen. She told the GTC: "Mr Queen did not share my vision for the school."

An Office for Standards in Education report on the school in May 2003 said the school had an unusual reliance on its head and that the deputy head's leadership role was unsatisfactory.

The hearing was adjourned as new, undisclosed, evidence came to light.

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