Teacher should not have restrained boy

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A SUPPLY teacher at a South Yorkshire school who restrained a pupil by taking hold of him and cupping his face in his hands has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by the General Teaching Council.

A disciplinary committee found Dr Michael Smith, who had returned to teaching after 20 years away, ‘acted in an unprofessional and inappropriately physical manner’ with the boy, named only as Pupil A, while employed at Maltby Academy.

Now it has ruled he must complete a course in classroom management before he is allowed to re-register as a teacher and continue his career.

The conduct committee said Dr Smith admitted that in June last year he cradled Pupil A’s face in his hands to calm him down.

He also admitted preventing the boy leaving the room by taking hold of his clothes.

Committee chair Philip Cole said: “Whatever the gravity of the incident in which Pupil A was engaged before his intervention, there was no justification for Dr Smith behaving in the way he did.

“He should not have touched Pupil A in the circumstances.

“He should have allowed him to leave the room. He should have exercised self-control. Dr Smith in fact acknowledges that his practice did not reflect modern methods of discipline.

“The committee finds that these actions were unprofessional and inappropriate.”

Mr Cole added: “Dr Smith failed to put the wellbeing, development and progress of a pupil first.

“He did not take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of that pupil under his supervision. By behaving as he did, he brought the reputation of the profession into disrepute.”

He said Dr Smith had shown some understanding into his behaviour, but had not apologised for it.

Mr Cole added the teacher had told the committee he merely ‘regretted that his attempts to encourage this child to study without inconveniencing and endangering others gave rise to problems’, and did not really feel he did anything wrong.

Dr Smith can appeal to the High Court within 28 days.