Teachers sacked after 'physical misconduct'

6th May 2011 at 01:00
Allegations that pupils were "manhandled"

Two teachers have been sacked and two teaching assistants disciplined over allegations that pupils were "manhandled" at a north Wales primary.

Debbie Ellis, deputy head of Hafod Y Wern Community School in Wrexham, was dismissed along with another member of staff in February after a three- month investigation, it emerged this week.

Ms Ellis's solicitor Tudor Williams claimed his client had been accused of "physical misconduct and emotional abuse" of a six-year-old pupil following an incident in the school last June.

TES Cymru understands she physically moved the pupil away from an area of the school in which he was not meant to be during a breaktime.

The incident was caught on CCTV and an inquiry was launched after the school's governing body referred the matter to Wrexham Council.

Ms Ellis, who has been at Hafod Y Wern for 10 years, was in charge while the headteacher, Simon Edwards, was away. Both teachers are currently appealing their dismissals.

David Evans, secretary of teaching union NUT Cymru, which represents the other teacher, called the school's decision "perverse".

He confirmed the case did not involve allegations of a sexual nature, but was unable to give further details while the matter was being appealed.

He said: "The actions the school has taken in this case are astounding and we hope common sense will prevail."

Hafod Y Wern has around 240 pupils and serves the Caia Park area of Wrexham, one of the most deprived areas in Wales with one the country's largest council estates.

When it was last inspected two years ago, Estyn said it was an "outstandingly caring and supportive school" which had a "successful and very good relationship" between staff and learners.

Wrexham Council refused to confirm any details about the alleged incidents.

John Davies, the council's head of lifelong learning, said: "This is a personnel issue, and as such we are unable to comment as issues are not yet fully resolved."

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