'Homo' jibe to SEN pupil earns reprimand but no ban

29th January 2010 at 00:00
Although he `seriously demeaned' child - and hit another - teacher can continue his career

A teacher who addressed a special needs pupil as a "homo" and struck another student has escaped a classroom ban.

Adrian Shaw was reprimanded after a General Teaching Council for England (GTC) panel decided his actions were not an example of unacceptable professional conduct.

The music teacher was accused of making the "demeaning" remark to "pupil B" and striking "pupil A" while employed at Garston Manor School in Hertfordshire. He now works as a consultant at another school.

The incidents took place between 2006 and 2007. Mr Shaw denied deliberately hurting the child and said the "slight contact" was "unintentional and no injury was sustained". The GTC panel said this was not unacceptable professional conduct because it was an isolated case.

But they found the teacher had "seriously demeaned" pupil B by calling him a "homo". This was "a breach of the standards of propriety expected of the profession" and unacceptable conduct which brought teaching into serious disrepute.

Garston Manor School caters for up to 122 children with moderate learning difficulties, many of whom have problems with literacy.

Mr Shaw's reprimand will remain on his record for two years.

"We are satisfied that Mr Shaw has insight into his failings and has made a genuine expression of regret. We have been impressed by the evidence that Mr Shaw has reflected long and hard about the incident and taken steps to address the issues," the GTC panel said.

"We are satisfied that there has been no repetition of this behaviour and the committee has taken into account the positive and supportive testimonial from the school at which he has been employed as a music consultant for more than four terms."

Meanwhile, another teacher who struck a pupil has been allowed to continue working on condition that he receives extra training in managing bad behaviour.

Robert MacKenzie, who worked at Knutsford High School in Cheshire, pushed and hit the pupil in June 2007. He was found not guilty of inappropriately restraining another pupil at a GTC hearing earlier that year, after which he was warned about his conduct.

Mr MacKenzie now works at another school and has been promoted to headteacher.

The GTC panel told Mr MacKenzie: "Even taking into account the provocation which you received, your actions in striking and pushing the pupil fall far below the standard expected."


- Teacher Philip Stacey assaulted a special needs pupil who threw paper around the classroom and admitted holding the pupil's arm and pulling him off his stool in 2004 while working at St Clement's High School in Norfolk. He said the child had a "smug grin" on his face.

- Deputy headteacher Paul Packer was dismissed from his post at Robert Sandilands primary in Newbury, Berkshire, in 2001 after saying pupils with special needs should be left to rot and that he wanted to kill them. Mr Packer, of Didcot in Oxfordshire, also sniggered at pupils who had difficulty performing music at school assemblies.

- Boys at a residential school for pupils with special needs suffered inappropriate headlocks and arm holds, were routinely videoed when being restrained and made to do morning runs as a punishment. John Davies, 58, was accused of overseeing the regime while head of Swinford Manor School in Ashford, Kent, from April 1989 to November 2000.

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