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Ban for teacher who physically assaulted vulnerable pupil at Westfield School

Grace Witherden

Grace Witherden

Ban for teacher who physically assaulted vulnerable pupil at Wooburn Green school

A 35-year-old teacher has been banned from her profession after she physically assaulted a vulnerable pupil at a special school in Bourne End.

A professional conduct panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership heard how Sarah Clements grabbed a pupil around the arm and engaged in a physical struggle with the child at Westfield School in Bourne End.

The school, in Highfield Lane, caters for children aged 5-11 years who are experiencing social, emotional and mental health difficulties.

The report, which was published on Friday, said the panel considered allegations set out in the notice of referral, where it was alleged that Clements was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

The report states that on the March 24 2015, Clements grabbed a pupil, referred to as Pupil A, around the arm and engaged in a physical struggle.

It adds that on March 25 2015, Clements grabbed the pupil's arm, pulled him towards her desk, and said 'shut up you deserve them’ after the pupil complained of injury.

After the headteacher became aware of the incident from another member of staff, the school’s CCTV footage was viewed and a school investigation was launched.

The report states: “The headteacher’s description of the CCTV footage states that at the time of the incidents Pupil A told Miss Clements that she had hurt him and that he appeared to be visibly distressed.”

The allegations were also referred to the police and Clements accepted a police caution in September 2015.

Clements was dismissed from the school following a disciplinary hearing which took place in January 2016.

The panel found Clements fell ‘significantly short’ of the standards expected of the profession.

It states: "Accordingly, the panel is satisfied that Miss Clements is guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

"Having found the facts of the allegations proved, the panel further finds that Miss Clements' conduct amounts to both unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute."

Sarah Clements is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

The report adds Clements will not be entitled to apply for restoration of her eligibility to each.

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