The Teacher’s Disciplinary Tribunal has disciplined a teacher following a finding of serious misconduct for striking a student.

The teacher and student were involved in a play-fight. The student became rough during the fight and hit the teacher several times. The teacher jabbed the student on the chin.

The student began to walk away, swearing. The teacher slapped the student on the back of the head and told him not to swear, and to be more respectful.

The teacher apologised immediately and later took steps to repair the relationship with the student, including a restorative hui.

The Tribunal found that both the play-fighting and the slap to the student’s head were unacceptable. This was particularly the case with the slap because it was the use of physical force for a corrective purpose.

The teacher’s actions were both held to be serious misconduct. The Tribunal ordered the teacher to be censured, the register to be annotated for a year, and that the teacher must inform his current employer of the decision, and any other prospective employer for the next two years.

The use of force for corrective purposes is strictly prohibited, and any incidents are taken very seriously by the Tribunal.

If there are concerns about the use of physical force for disciplinary purposes by a teacher, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.


Alan Knowsley