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Worried parent was told 'I couldn't spell at that age'

A primary-school teacher who was criticised 18 times in an Ofsted report has been suspended from teaching for a year by England's General Teaching Council.

Inspectors in 2002 judged that three out of four lessons by Stephan Bateman, who taught at Lyndhurst community primary, Tameside, were unsatisfactory.

The panel was told by Beverley Allford, his headteacher, that a subsequent Ofsted report criticised classes run by Mr Bateman 18 times, although it did not mention him by name.

The hearing in Birmingham was told that Mr Bateman's school reports about pupils were littered with errors. He described a boy as a "she" and made numerous spelling mistakes.

Mrs Allford said she had been "disgusted" when one parent complained that Mr Bateman had set a long piece of work for the children to do because they had been noisy.

The council also heard how he told another parent who was concerned about her child's spelling: "I couldn't spell at that age either."

Mrs Allford and Chris Palfreyman, Tameside's school link adviser, had observed his lessons. His planning and marking were found unsatisfactory and he failed to engage his pupils.

Describing Mr Bateman's reaction to an inspection of his ICT lesson in December 2002, Mrs Allford said: "He took the feedback very badly, threw something across the room and shouted very loudly as the inspector left."

The school's governors started capability procedures against Mr Bateman in January 2003. He was offered extensive support by members of staff.

Mr Bateman was dismissed from the 300-pupil school in April 2004. He appealed against the decision, but it was upheld in May that year.

Mrs Palfreyman said she believed Mr Bateman was still teaching on a temporary basis in the Tameside area.

Mr Bateman - who did not attend and was not represented at the hearing - will be required to take a re-entry course before returning to teaching.

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