'Violent' King's Lynn special needs teacher banned for life

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St Michael's Church of England School in King's LynnImage source, Google
Image caption,
Karen Owen ran the school's special resources base

A special needs teacher has been banned from teaching for life over violent outbursts at children aged under seven.

Karen Owen, 57, screamed in the face of one boy and shoved him to the floor and deliberately stood on the foot of another, a misconduct hearing found.

She also failed to safeguard some pupils at St Michael's Church of England Primary Academy in King's Lynn, Norfolk, where she taught.

She has been indefinitely banned from teaching.

A Teaching Regulation Agency panel said Mrs Owen "displayed behaviours associated with violence against more than one extremely vulnerable pupil with complex needs".

The misconduct related to Key Stage 1 children, aged between five and seven, in the school's special resources base from 2016 to 2018.

The panel said Mrs Owen's actions harmed the individual pupils involved and others nearby.

'Unprecedented pressure'

One witness said Mrs Owen put her hand on a boy's head as he got up from quiet time and "shoved him back down in the sort of motion you would use to close a car door".

It was also found that she inappropriately touched another child's face while he was eating.

On five occasions within two months, serious concerns were raised about a pupil and Mrs Owen failed to record any of them, the panel said.

Mrs Owen, who did not attend the hearing, had previously said she was under "unprecedented pressure" from a heavy workload and a health concern, and was "truly sorry" for poor record-keeping.

The Diocese of Norwich Education and Academies Trust said Mrs Owen was suspended immediately following the allegations.

It said after reviewing evidence her employment was ended.

The panel banned Mrs Owen from teaching for life with no eligibility for her to apply for a review.

She has 28 days to appeal against the decision.

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