Teacher who threw piece of metal at pupil in Sheffield banned over dishonesty

UTC Sheffield
UTC Sheffield
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A former teacher who threw a piece of metal at a pupil in Sheffield has been banned from the profession for trying to hide his past from a future employer.

Ian Leigh was working as an engineering teacher at University Technical College Sheffield in December 2015 when he admits he raised his voice at a pupil and threw a piece of metal which hit that student's leg.

Wales High School

Wales High School

The 49-year-old was dismissed for misconduct and subsequently applied successfully for a role at Wales High School in Kiveton, near the Rotherham border, but in doing so he failed to disclose his previous role or the reasons for his dismissal to his new employer.

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Instead, he falsely told the recruitment agency he had been self-employed during the period from September 2013 to February 2016, when he was actually working for UTC Sheffield.

He was only employed at Wales High School for just over two months, from November 22, 2016 to January 31, 2017, before being dismissed after the matter came to light.

Mr Leigh admitted 'engaging in unnecessary conduct' with a pupil at UTC Sheffield and providing false information to conceal his employment at the college.

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In a letter to governors at UTC Sheffield, sent in October 2016, he apologised for his conduct towards the student, which he said resulted from a 'passionate response to a pupil's abusive behaviour'.

A disciplinary panel from the National College for Teaching & Leadership found his actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct which may bring the profession into disrepute.

Panel members felt his actions at UTC Sheffield were not significantly serious to merit a ban, especially given his 'good record' as a teacher prior to the incident, which they accepted was 'out of character'.

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They agreed the confrontation had been an 'isolated incident resulting from a temporary loss of self-control' and did not suggest he poses a continuing risk to pupils' safety.

But they ruled that his subsequent attempt to dishonestly mislead a potential employer represented a 'clear breach of safeguarding principles' for which a ban was necessary.

He was prohibited from teaching indefinitely, with a minimum of two years before he can apply for that ban to be lifted.

The decision was taken by Dawn Dandy, on behalf of education secretary Damian Hinds, following a recommendation by the panel.

The findings were published yesterday, Wednesday, April 11, but the order applies from April 4. Mr Leigh has the right to appeal the ruling within 28 days of the latter date.