Wales

Llanelli teacher denies bullying autistic unit's pupils

Pwll Primary School, near Llanelli,
Image caption Teaching assistants at the school said they were in fear of Glenda Partridge

A teacher in an autistic unit dragged children across the classroom and denied some children food, a disciplinary hearing has been told.

The General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) heard Glenda Lynette Partridge was sacked from Pwll Primary School, near Llanelli, Carmarthenshire in 2007. Her union claims the investigation was flawed.

Teaching assistants claimed children were put on a treadmill at high speed as a punishtment for misbehaviour.

Mrs Partridge denies the allegations.

Former colleagues of Mrs Patridge in the Carmarthenshire school at the time described a number of incidents they considered unacceptable.

They told the hearing that if pupils did not come to her desk as soon as they were called, they would be grabbed and physically dragged across the classroom, being banged in to chairs on some occasions.

The hearing in Cardiff was told that videos were used as a threat against one child who became extremely distressed by videos being fast-forwarded or re-wound.

Food 'punishment'

On one occasion it is alleged Mrs Partridge held his face in front of the screen with her hands as a video was fast-forwarded or re-wound.

The panel also heard the teacher used food as a punishment - that she would take food away from pupils she considered misbehaved and that, on occasions, that would lead to the children not being fed all day.

One of the teaching assistants described an occasion when the group was taken to a fast food restaurant and one child was made to stay in the bus while the others all had lunch.

The pupil was brought out a sandwich 45 minutes later and made to eat it in small pieces, causing him considerable distress.

Teaching assistants said they were in fear of Mrs Patridge and claimed they had been told by a former headmaster that if they complained it would be their word against hers, the hearing was told.

'Flawed investigation'

Mrs Patridge did not attend the meeting and is being represented by the teaching union the NASUWT.

The union does not accept the accusations against Mrs Partridge.

It says the behaviour modification techniques may be considered harsh but they were used all staff in the unit.

They also say the investigation into Mrs Partridge, which led to her dismissal from the school, was flawed.

The disciplinary hearing has been adjourned to a later date to be fixed.