A former Isle of Wight teacher has been forbidden to teach again after he assaulted a pupil, leading to “misconduct of a serious nature”.
Graeme Bell, 47, a science teacher at Cowes Enterprise College since 2006, has been prohibited from teaching indefinitely by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) — and the decision cannot be reviewed until December 2023 at the earliest.
Following the decision last month, a professional conduct panel decided it was necessary to impose the order after Bell admitted unacceptable professional conduct after an incident with a pupil.
In July 2018, Bell attended a residential trip to Corf Camp, Shalfleet, with Year 7 pupils from Cowes Enterprise College where he was involved in a physical altercation with two pupils.
Charge for assault by beating
After the incident, Bell lost his job and was charged at the Isle of Wight Magistrates’ Court for assault by beating, and given a 12-month community order to undertake 100 hours of work.
He was also ordered to pay £485 in court costs and a victim surcharge.
As previously reported, the court heard a fellow teacher describe Bell as going ‘crazily mental’ when he grabbed a student by the shoulders, forcibly pulling them a distance before pushing them to the ground.
A report published by the TRA panel said it was satisfied Bell had breached the Teachers’ Standards, falling ‘significantly short of the standards expected’ — not upholding public trust in the profession, not observing proper appropriate boundaries and not treating pupils with dignity.
The panel accepted Bell’s actions were not pre-meditated, but involved a ‘loss of emotional control at the point which the offence was committed’.
Remorse for actions
A witness statement read to the panel stated Bell had ‘learned a lesson from the incident’ and he expressed regret for his actions.
The prohibition order now prevents Bell from teaching in any school, sixth form college or children’s home in the country indefinitely, but the TRA said it would ‘clearly deprive the public of his contribution to the profession for the period that it is in force’.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed