1:54pm Friday 13th June 2014
AN ALLEGATION that 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, has been proved by a misconduct committee.
Claire Turner, a former teacher at Trinity Fields School in Ystrad Mynach, was also accused of pulling another pupil back using inappropriate force, but this allegation was not proved. Trinity Fields 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 today concluded that Ms Turner's behaviour amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and "fell short of the standard expected of a registered teacher".
They will now decide what punishment Ms Turner will face.
She faced 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.
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".
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.
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."
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