Teacher who hit pupil in the arm and pulled ears of another banned from the classroom

A Peterborough teacher who banged the head of a pupil against a partition and pulled the ears of another pupil has been banned from the classroom.

Monday, 16th April 2018, 6:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 1:26 pm
Ivan Reed

Former Nene Park Academy teacher Ivan Reed also punched a child in the arm and shouted loudly in his ear. The teacher had received a warning about physical contact with pupils in the past while at the school.

He has now prohibited from teaching indefinitely as a result of his actions - and will only be able to apply for the prohibition order to be set aside in April 2021

A Professional Conduct Hearing panel heard how Mr Reed had twisted or pulled the youngster's ear in December 2016.

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The child, identified as Pupil A, was in Year 7 at the time of the incident.

In a statement, the youngster said: "Mr Reed came up behind me and pulled both of my ears. He put his thumb against either side of my head on the inner ear lobes and twisted my ears. This hurt me. … I was trying hard not to cry because it hurt."

He added that he thought "Mr Reed was just messing around and having a bit of fun."

Pupil A confirmed that he was attending an after-school maths session with Witness C and another pupil at the time. He was not being taught by Mr Reed but Mr Reed was present in the same room teaching other pupils. Pupil A stated that Mr Reed approached him from behind, whilst he was eating a snack, and pulled his ears.

During the course of his interview with the School Mr Reed provided a slightly different version of events. The signed record of his interview sets out that Mr Reed's account was that he gently twisted only one earlobe. He added that "there was no malice".

The panel heard the second incident happened in or around February to June 2015 when Pupil B was in Year 8.

The youngster told the panel that at the time of the incident he was in internal exclusion when he asked Mr Reed for help. He described the room as being very small, with just three desks placed side-by-side and separated by partitions.

In response to being asked to help, Pupil B stated that Mr Reed shouted in his ear. He could not recall what was said. Pupil B also stated that Mr Reed then "banged" his head against partition boards using "medium force" which hurt him a little. Pupil B also stated that Mr Reed punched him on the arm.

He could distinctly recall Mr Reed shouting in his ear and stated that Mr Reed was only a few inches away from him. He had not anticipated this and it made his ear hurt. Pupil B also did his best to describe what he meant by the phrase "medium force" and conceded that he was not hurt by his head being pushed into the partition, though he "felt it". He also added that there was a red mark left on his arm following Mr Reed punching him, which had gone by the time he returned home.

The panel was also told about warnings Mr Reed had received about contact with pupils.

It was first alleged that an incident had occurred in April 2011 involving Mr Reed and several pupils. One alleged aspect of this incident was that Mr Reed had put his arm around a female pupil.

Mr Reed was sent a letter from the school which said: ""Whilst accepting your explanation, I have advised you against doing this in the future as such behaviour could lead to an allegation against yourself of inappropriate behaviour …"

The next incident occurred in November 2015, when an allegation was made that Mr Reed had waved his fist in the face of a pupil from another school and grabbed the clothes of another pupil from the same school and pushed him.

He received another letter, which said: "these incidents serve to remind us of the need to avoid any physical contact with students, even when done as part of jokes or banter."

Finally, on 25 November 2016, safeguarding concerns were raised about Mr Reed by the headteacher of a different school, Willoughby Special School.

As a result, Mr Reed agreed to undertake further safeguarding training.

The misconduct panel was satisfied that the conduct of Mr Reed amounted to misconduct of a serious nature which fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession.

In a statement they said: "Mr Reed had behaved in a way that was contrary to standard and accepted practice and in so doing he had failed to maintain appropriate professional boundaries and standards. He had physically hit, hurt and upset pupils. This was completely unacceptable and these incidents had occurred despite Mr Reed having received clear and unambiguous instruction and advice in respect of physical contact with pupils over a period of many years. Mr Reed had flagrantly disregarded this advice."

Steve Howard, Principal of Nene Park Academy, said: “At Nene Park Academy we insist on the highest standards of behaviour from everyone at the academy, including our studentsand members of staff, and maintain a strong track record in safeguarding.“It was clear that Mr Reed’s professional conduct had fallen short of these expectations on more than one occasion. When these incidents were brought to our attention we tookimmediate action to manage, discipline and subsequently suspend Mr Reed in line with our disciplinary procedures while an internal investigation took place. Mr Reed resigned duringthis suspension and due to the safeguarding nature of the incidents we reported the case to the National College for Teaching and Leadership for further investigation under theirnational guidelines and regulations."