Primary pupils fought with scissors

20th October 2006 at 01:00
A primary school teacher who failed to stop a pupil cut herself and another child with scissors has been allowed to continue working in the profession.

Elaine Quammi-Steele failed to control her Year 4 pupils, who were often caught fighting and screaming by other teachers who described her classes as having "a total lack of control".

England's General Teaching Council heard this week that Ms Quammi-Steele's poor classroom management endangered her pupils at Hazelbury junior in Edmonton, north London.

After being observed in 16 lessons by five different people, including the deputy headteacher, Michelle Williams, it was decied that the standards of Ms Quammi-Steele's lessons were unsatisfactory and a compromise agreement was reached to terminate her employment at the school on December 2004.

Ms Williams said in a written statement that she had observed two of the teacher's pupils arguing, one of whom grew aggressive. "This pupil then began to use a pair of school scissors to cut at the other pupil as well as at her own neck and fingers."

The committee also heard that Ms Quammi-Steele accidentally showed her pupils a newspaper photograph of a naked woman.

Susan Jeffrey, headteacher, said Ms Quammi-Steele had been using the newspaper to cover tables in her classroom and that there had been "uproar"

when pupils spotted the picture.

Ms Quammi-Steele admitted the allegation of serious professional incompetence.

But in a letter to the GTC she said: "I want to continue doing the work I love, namely teaching young children to grow up as happy, integrated and successful human beings in modern Britain's multi-ethnic, multilingual, multicultural multi-faith society."

Ms Quammi-Steele must undertake behaviour management training in teaching learning strategies and complete a statutory performance management review at the school in Hackney where she now works.

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