Teacher banned for treading on pupil’s foot and screaming

St Michael's Church of England Academy. Photo: Google

St Michael's Church of England Academy. Photo: Google - Credit: Archant

A teacher has been banned from the classroom after standing on a pupil's foot and screaming in front of special needs children.

Karen Owen worked at St Michael's CoE Primary Academy on Saddlebow Road in King's Lynn from 2015 until 2018.

She ran a unit at the school for children with complex needs, but last year allegations were made about her behaviour and the school investigated.

The allegations, which date from 2016 to 2018, included "inappropriate physical contact" with pupils and failing to act on safeguarding concerns.

She was referred to the Teaching Regulation Agency which said on Tuesday they were banning her from teaching indefinitely following a hearing earlier this month.

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The panel found Mrs Owen "displayed behaviours associated with violence against more than one extremely vulnerable pupil with complex needs".

Mrs Owen, who was not at the hearing, denied the allegations.

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She was accused of touching one pupil's face while he was eating.

In another case she stood on a pupil's foot, touched his head and screamed at him.

Mrs Owen admitted standing on the pupil's foot but said it was an accident.

But witness said it was deliberate and she carried on doing it even when the pupil was screaming.

She later told a witness that she was stressed.

On another occasion the panel heard she "suddenly stomped into the area, and then either crouched down or got down onto her knees so she was eye level with Pupil B.

"Mrs Owen placed her hands over Pupil B's [hands], and screamed at him.

"Mrs Owen would scream at pupils on occasion and that this would happen in front of, or in the vicinity of, other pupils."

She also failed in her duties by not responding to a safeguarding concern raised by a whistleblower and not keeping accurate child protection records, the panel heard.

On that final allegation she said: "I am truly sorry. I feel that I was under unprecedented pressure in terms of workload and lack of time."

The Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust (DNEAT), which runs the school, said it took abuse allegations "extremely seriously".

They said Mrs Owen was suspended when the allegation was received and ended her employment once they had reviewed the evidence.

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