Teacher suspended after 'blonde' jibes

A TEACHER at a Doncaster school has been suspended for two years over alleged rude comments about female colleagues and swearing in front of pupils.

A General Teaching Council disciplinary hearing was told Michael Bamford, who was working at Fullerton House School in Denaby, said to a colleague when she asked for his help on a computer: "Are you really blonde, thick and stupid?".

And when asked about the health of another colleague he is said to have replied: "It's her own fault. She's a fat cow."

He was also accused of commenting on a separate occasion when the same woman was off after undergoing a hysterectomy words to the effect of "it's her own fault, her insides were dropping out and I don't really care".

The allegations of the foul-mouthed ways of Mr Bamford were revealed in the findings of the General Teaching Council disciplinary panel who suspended him from teaching for two years.

On top of the comments he was said to have made about work colleagues the findings say he also swore regularly in front of pupils.

The disciplinary panel said Mr Bamford had not denied making the comments alleged apart from denying he used the "f" word.

They say that on the basis of the evidence they accept the comments were made but that on the balance of probabilities they were unable accept that the "f" word was used.

The findings said his behaviour amounted to "unacceptable professional conduct" and was a "breach of the standards of propriety" expected of teachers.

They said he failed, among other things, to maintain appropriate professional boundaries in his relationship with children and young people, to act appropriately towards colleagues, to develop productive and supportive relationships with school colleagues and to maintain reasonable standards.

The findings stated: "There were several serious instances of unacceptable conduct on the part of Mr Bamford."

But they said with training it may be possible for him to address his failings.

In addition to the two-year ban the panel stipulated that during his suspension he should attend a course for personal behaviour management which will include modules relating to anger management and communication skills.

He has 28 days from receiving the ban to appeal to the High Court.

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