Teacher sexually assaulted colleague, panel hears

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Image caption,
Helen Evans worked at Llanishen Fach school

A primary teacher sexually assaulted a colleague and called senior staff "dumb and dumber", a hearing has been told.

Helen Evans ripped open the shirt of a male teacher and grabbed his testicles, heard the Education Workforce Council on Thursday.

The panel was told the alleged incident happened at an event at Cardiff's Llanishen Fach school.

Ms Evans "did not deny or confirm the allegations" in a statement.

Giving evidence, the primary school's headteacher Sarah Coombes said a colleague alleged that Ms Evans has sexually assaulted him at a parent-teacher event in May 2013.

She said the incident left him "intimidated and extremely upset".

Ms Evans did not deny the incident had happened.

The matter was referred to the police, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to take the case any further.

The man left the school - and the teaching profession - shortly after, citing Ms Evans's behaviour as the main reason behind his decision.

Snake incident

In 2015, Ms Evans arranged with a parent to bring an unspecified snake into the school, without undertaking a risk assessment.

"Helen Evans was not down to teach her class at the time the snake was brought in," Ms Coombes said.

"Colleague C has an extreme phobia of snakes and was not made aware of the visit."

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Image caption,
The case has been brought to the Education Workforce Council's fitness to practice committee, sitting in Cardiff

Ms Evans is said to have not deemed the visit as needing a risk assessment, despite the school not knowing the breed of snake.

Ms Coombes said the school would undertake a risk assessment "with all pets".

Ms Evans later was heard to have called senior staff "dumb and dumber" as they entered a room, and in a later incident with another colleague, she was described as being "abrupt and confrontational".

The teacher, who had worked at the school for 22 years, also failed to mark books correctly and excluded children from Christmas celebrations by "boycotting the assembly", Ms Coombes added.

'Bullying behaviour' claim

Pupils' books were found to have no work in them three months into term.

"It was impossible to allow her to undertake her usual role without creating an intolerable workplace for many," Ms Coombes said.

The hearings presenting officer Hannah Eales said the case was being brought to the committee because of allegations of "bullying behaviour and sexually motivated actions".

Ms Evans is accused of failing to follow management instructions, behaving unacceptably towards colleagues, made inappropriate comments, provide inaccurate information, failed to participate fully in planning, marking, record keeping, pupil progress and behaved dishonestly with regards to pupils work.

The hearing is expected to last until 9 November.