Pupils were addressed as 'baby cheeks' and 'ugly face'

24th June 2011 at 01:00
Indefinite ban for teacher who also threatened to staple child's ears to the wall

A senior teacher who touched a pupil's face while calling her "baby cheeks" and used a string of inappropriate names to address other children has been barred from the profession indefinitely.

Nicholas Mellor, who taught at Walthamstow Academy in east London, called pupils names including "love", "baby", "darling" and "ugly face", the General Teaching Council for England (GTC) ruled.

He also pinched another pupil's ears and told him that he would "staple them to the wall", a disciplinary panel heard.

Mr Mellor, who was head of the school's department for English as an additional language, touched and spoke inappropriately to pupils while working at the academy, sponsored by Christian charity United Learning Trust, in 2008.

He admitted he had an inappropriate way of speaking to pupils and accepted it should stop, the GTC heard.

But Mr Mellor was criticised for failing to show regret or to provide the GTC with any evidence of his teaching ability.

"We have had to consider numerous breaches of the code of conduct relating to Mr Mellor's interaction with vulnerable pupils for whom he was the sole point of classroom teaching at school," the GTC judgment read.

"That he failed to exercise his responsibilities properly in that regard is particularly serious and indicative of a deep-seated attitudinal problem.

"This is further illustrated by his failure to engage with these proceedings. In light of this, we can but conclude that he has no insight into his behaviour and he should not be allowed to teach."

Mr Mellor's behaviour was "particularly reprehensible" as it involved vulnerable pupils, and the pupil whose ears were pinched would have found the experience "particularly humiliating".

Mr Mellor had appeared to suggest that threatening to staple the boy's ears to a wall was meant as a joke, the GTC said.

He was cleared of other allegations of inappropriate professional conduct, including flicking the nose of one pupil and slapping another on the back of the hand.

However, despite banning Mr Mellor from the classroom, the GTC said his behaviour was not "so intrinsically incapable of change" that he should not be allowed to apply to re-register after two years if he can prove he has overcome his "attitudinal problems".

"Without a successful application, Mr Mellor remains barred from teaching indefinitely," the GTC said.


Criminal record

A trainee teacher who failed to disclose the fact he had been jailed in the United States for attempted aggravated sexual assault has been banned from the profession indefinitely.

Samir Patel was sentenced to more than three years in prison before being deported to the UK in 2005.

He also gave false information about his caution for theft from his then employer, John Lewis, when he started a PGCE course at the University of Hertfordshire in September 2009.

But his criminal record was picked up by the university and he was suspended from the course in April 2010 and reported to the GTC.

Mr Patel stole #163;6 from John Lewis; he took the cash while serving a customer.

He was found guilty by the GTC of failing to disclose his conviction for attempted, aggravated sexual assault, providing false information about a police caution and of dishonest conduct.

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