Ex-Ystrad Mynach teacher 'dragged a pupil across the classroom floor' - hearing told

First published in News

A VALLEYS teacher at a school for disabled children dragged a pupil across the classroom floor after he refused to do as he was told, a hearing heard yesterday.

Claire Turner, a former teacher at Trinity Fields School in Ystrad Mynach, is also accused of pulling another pupil back using inappropriate force. The school cares for children aged between three and 19-years-old with a wide range of learning difficulties.

A hearing of the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) held in Cardiff yesterday heard evidence from several witnesses, including Ms Turner herself.

She faces two allegations, the first relating to an incident on January 17, 2012, when she is alleged to have made inappropriate physical contact with pupil A by dragging him across a classroom floor.

The second allegation refers to an incident on July 11, 2012, which claims Ms Turner made inappropriate contact with pupil B by pulling her backwards by her shoulders with force. Ms Turner, who has since left the school after 10 years, denies the allegations.

The Professional Conduct Committee must determine whether or not her behaviour amounts to unacceptable professional conduct.

Cindy Paulett, a health care support worker at the school, told the hearing she saw Ms Turner and two other teaching assistants drag pupil A by his arms across the classroom and into a chair during a music lesson.

She added the incident had caused distress to other pupils, with one even approaching her to be comforted, and that the incident left her "upset" and "shaken".

In relation to the second allegation, Nia Owen, who was waiting for her son at the end of the school day in the reception area alongside another parent, Jo Patterson, said she saw Ms Turner place her hands on pupil B's shoulders from behind as they made their way out of the school and pulled her back "roughly".

She added: "I felt very disturbed at what had happened."

But both parents told the hearing pupil B did not become upset after the incident.

Giving evidence, Ms Turner said she felt it was appropriate to restrain pupil A because he was becoming disruptive to others in the class, even hitting a member of staff.

Commenting on the incident regarding pupil B, Ms Turner said she held the pupil back by her shoulders after realising a parent had not yet arrived to take her home. She said she acted appropriately on both occasions.

Ms Turner, visibly upset as she finished reading out her written statement, told the hearing: "My career has been cut short. A career I worked very hard for, and one I loved. I don't intend to teach again, I would not feel comfortable in an environment where these type of allegations can be made."

Proceeding.

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