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A TEACHER at a Northampton primary school has been banned from teaching and ordered to attend anger management classes after he was caught twice inappropriately restraining pupils in separate incidents.

Stuart Pitcher, who was employed at Castle Primary School, in St George’s Street, Semilong, was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and suspended for a year by The General Teaching Council’s Professional Conduct Committee after using undue physical restraint on the pupils.

The committee said Mr Pitcher had “made inappropriate physical contact with pupils” on two occasions.

The first incident involved a pupil in November 2008, and then on March 11, 2009, he held another pupil by the wrist with a firm grip and used undue physical restraint, disregarding the school protocol in dealing with the child concerned.

A colleague who witnessed the second incident said: “I saw Stuart Pitcher holding pupil A by one of his wrists with a very firm grip.

“Stuart Pitcher had another hand on pupil A’s head, trying to push him down to the floor. I intervened at this point because I was concerned that Stuart Pitcher had used physical intervention.”

In its findings, the committee also accepted the evidence of another colleague in respect to the previous incident in 2008, which confirmed the probability of parents being able to see through the window as he restrained the pupil.

Committee chairman, Christine Green, said: “Having found the facts of the above allegations proved, we further find that Mr Pitcher’s behaviour amounts to unacceptable professional conduct as defined in the relevant Code of Conduct and Practice for Registered Teachers.

“We make that finding because Mr Pitcher failed to put the well-being, development and progress of children and young people first. We also find that Mr Pitcher failed to co-operate with other professionals in the children’s workforce.”

She said a 12-month suspension was the “appropriate and proportionate sanction” and also imposed conditions on his return to teaching, requiring him to attend anger management and behaviour management courses, as well as to undergo “Team Teach” training.

A spokeswoman for Northamptonshire County Council refused to comment on the suspension saying it was a matter between the school and the employee concerned.

Schools may also want to consider having their staff get trained by taking online anger management classes

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