Pupil pulled off stool by 'grumpy' teacher

2nd June 2006 at 01:00
An experienced teacher has been found guilty of unacceptable professional behaviour after assaulting a pupil who threw paper around the classroom.

Philip Stacey, who taught science at St Clement's high school in Terrington, Norfolk, admitted holding the pupil's arm and pulling him off his stool, causing him to hit another desk.

England's General Teaching Council heard that he became increasingly agitated after pupils started throwing paper in a science class during a fourth period lesson in March 2004.

The pupil, who is described as having specific learning difficulties and who suffers from attention deficit disorder, then sat on a piece of paper to hide it from Mr Stacey.

In a statement he described using his hands to stop himself falling and preventing getting seriously hurt.

Rosmary Goodie, the headteacher, said the pupil reported the incident to a teacher who verified the story with other pupils before telling her.

Ms Goodie said: "It is lucky that the pupil was not seriously injured.

Pupils' safety is a paramount consideration in my school.

"Mr Stacey admitted holding the student but denied using excessive force.

He said the pupil had a smug grin on his face which irritated him but admitted this behaviour was uncharacteristic of him. I was concerned that as an experienced teacher he should have been able to control his feelings and reactions in an everyday teaching environment.

"He was aware that this particular pupil had an individual education plan and has received substantial extra teaching support in the past."

Mr Stacey, who taught at the school from September 1982 to September 2004, was neither present nor represented at the hearing in Birmingham last week.

He admitted the facts of the case and accepted they amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and was given a conditional registration order. Nick Leale, presenting officer, said: "It was a significant incident that could have caused physical injury. Mr Stacey should have been alert to showing restraint and accepts he was grumpy and irritable due to his heavy work and social commitments.

"He no longer wishes to take up teaching again."

Mr Stacey also admitted being cautioned by Suffolk police for using a laser-copy vehicle excise duty licence from January 10, 2003 to January 23, 2003.

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