The Teachers’ Disciplinary Tribunal has censured a teacher and required him to show any prospective employers the decision of the Tribunal for three years after an incident where a teacher intentionally tripped a student. 

The teacher had worked at a school providing specialist education for students with complex emotional and behavioural needs for 18 years.  The incident which led to the disciplinary hearing involved a student who told the teacher he was going to abscond from the classroom.  As the student moved past the teacher, the teacher deliberately put out his foot and tripped the student.  The teacher’s explanation was that he did not intend to trip the student but was attempting to step across the student so that he may perform a restraint hold on the student.

The Disciplinary Tribunal did not accept that explanation and found that the use of a restraint on the student was not justified, as absconding was not a situation which required restraint, because there was no immediate threat of inevitable or imminent harm to the student.

Alan Knowsley

Education Lawyer