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Teacher who pulled pupil’s hair and stood on another’s foot is banned

Will Taylor

Teacher who pulled pupil’s hair and stood on another’s foot is banned

A former maths teacher at Bourne End Academy has been banned from teaching indefinitely after she was found to have pulled the hair of one pupil and deliberately stood on another’s foot.

Helen Rossenberg, 59, was also found to have told one pupil to ‘sit your black ass down on that chair’ and called a special educational needs student ‘thick’.

The teacher, who had 20 years experience in Australia, was employed by the New Road school between September and December 2015. It was her first position in the UK.

A misconduct panel ran on behalf of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, which met between Wednesday, January 18, and Friday, January 20, banned her from teaching indefinitely in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

The report, published today (Thursday), said the panel found her guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

Ms Rossenberg did not attend the hearing and the panel assumed she denied all charges.

It found that in November 2015, she stood on a pupil, called Student I in the report, who said Ms Rossenberg raised her leg and put her heel on their toes.

“Having considered Ms Rossenberg's account that this was an accident, in light of the manner in which Student I gave evidence and the written statements provided, we do not accept her explanation on the balance of probabilities,” the report said.

In the same month, the panel found she had pulled the hair of another pupil, Student G, made reference to them having nits, and pushed another, Student C.

In addition to calling a pupil with special educational needs ‘thick’, Ms Rossenberg described one or more students as either ‘fat’, ‘ugly’, or ‘gay’.

Ms Rossenberg had been challenged by the students who found the remarks inappropriate.

She told one pupil to ‘sit your black ass down on that chair’, and the report said that during a disciplinary process, Ms Rossenberg had argued she said a phrase similar to ‘sit your ass down on that black chair’ but the panel heard how the chairs in the classroom in question were brown.

The panel also found she remarked about absent pupils by saying that ‘all they would do is sit there scratching their b*lls’ or words to that effect.

A further allegation that she grabbed one or more students by the arm in order to gain their attention was found not proved.

The report said: “The panel noted that Ms Rossenberg has not expressed any remorse, regret or a willingness to engage cooperatively with this process.

“There has been no suggestion that Ms Rossenberg has shown any insight into her actions.”

She will not be able to appeal for the ban to be overturned until February 1, 2020.

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