Teacher who threatened to pull colleague's head off is sent for anger management

21st January 2011 at 00:00
He gets a two-year ban after telling a female co-worker he would 'swing her uterus all about'

A special needs teacher with a long history of making offensive and intimidating comments to colleagues - including threatening to "pull" a co-worker's head off and "swing" her uterus "all about" - has been banned from the classroom for two years.

Michael Bamford, who worked at special schools in Doncaster, was ordered to complete a "personal behaviour management" course after making upsetting remarks to female colleagues.

He asked one, "Are you really blonde, thick and stupid?" and called another "a fat cow". Speaking about a female teacher who had undergone a hysterectomy, he said: "It's her own fault."

A General Teaching Council for England (GTC) panel heard he also regularly swore in front of pupils.

Mr Bamford said to one colleague, Wendy Shepherd, words to the effect of: "Shut up or I will pull your head off, put my hands down your slimy black hole, pull your uterus out and all its entrails and swing them all about."

He admitted making similar comments "for many years" and Ms Shepherd and other teachers confirmed this to the panel.

Mr Bamford accused Ms Shepherd of being "completely useless" with one pupil and "incapable of doing her job" in 2006. When she was helping the pupil, he "raised his voice" and said to her in front of children and staff: "Don't let him do that, he's ruining it - are you completely stupid?"

On another occasion, when Ms Shepherd was asking about the health of a colleague, Ms Megson, he said: "It's her own fault. She's a fat cow."

When Ms Megson was off sick due to a hysterectomy, he said to Ms Shepherd in the classroom: "It's her own fault - her insides were dropping out and I don't really care".

Mr Bamford has not denied making these comments and admitted to behaving "inappropriately and aggressively" in a school meeting.

GTC panel chair Stephanie Mason said Mr Bamford had not provided evidence "to satisfy us that he has shown insight or that he will not repeat this behaviour". But she said it was possible for him "to address his failings through appropriate training".

"Mr Bamford's conduct fell short of the standard expected of a registered teacher and was behaviour which involved a breach of the standards of propriety expected of the profession," she said. "There were several serious instances of unacceptable conduct on the part of Mr Bamford."


Behaving badly

The GTC has punished other members of the profession for behaving badly towards their colleagues.

John Cole was banned for two years in 2002 for swearing at pupils and trying to block performance-related pay rises for colleagues at the Grange School in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

Barry Derriscott was banned from teaching for two years in 2005 for sexually harassing female staff at Pensby High School for Boys in Wirral. He stalked one and attempted to put his hands up the skirt of another.

Andrew Catterall referred to colleagues as his "harem" while working at Harrop Fold School in Salford. He was placed under a conditional registration order for harassing colleagues and using offensive language and behaviour.

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