Pupils terrified by bully teacher

11th July 2003 at 01:00
A TEACHER whose shouting and bullying led pupils to claim that they were frightened to attend his maths lessons has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by the General Teaching Council for England.

Michael Andrews had only been working at the Cann Hall primary school in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, for six weeks when his contract was terminated in March.

A GTC disciplinary hearing was told this week that a number of children made requests to be moved from Mr Andrews's maths class because he had scared them so much.

Lyn Roddar, a learning support assistant who helped special educational needs children in Mr Andrews's Year 4 class, said the pupils were too frightened even to ask for basic equipment.

"The atmosphere in his classroom was something that I had never experienced before. The children were all sat still and silent - it was eerie," she said.

"On one occasion I went into his classroom to find that a number of children were sitting there doing nothing. When I asked them why they were not working, they told me that they did not have pencils and were too afraid to ask Mr Andrews for another one."

The committee was told that Mr Andrews rubbed work from the board before pupils had finished copying it, was frequently heard to lose his temper and had publicly humiliated a child who needed excusing from PE lessons. The teacher also ignored children's requests to go to the toilet, making them wait for up to 40 minutes.

The 36-year-old was also found to have made misleading claims on his application form. The three-person panel - two women and a man - was told that Mr Andrews had not disclosed earlier medical problems with stress, and had provided an inaccurate account of his previous teaching jobs.

Mr Andrews was not present at the Birmingham hearing, but through his representative, Jerry Glazier, he admitted that his statement of previous employment on his application had been inaccurate and that he had, on occasion, shouted at his class.

Mr Glazier said that the post had been more stressful than Mr Andrews anticipated and that he had not been given the support he needed from the school.

The GTC committee concluded that Mr Andrews's conduct had "fallen short of expected standards". He was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and issued with a reprimand to stay on his record for two years.

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