Deputy head cleared of slapping pupil quits his job

A distinguished deputy headmaster who was subjected to a court ordeal after being accused of slapping an “uncontrollable” pupil has quit his job. This is from the Telegraph…

Roy Cope, 63, was charged with assault after claims that he hit the seven-year-old as he tried to restrain the boy during a violent tantrum.

Mr Cope was cleared of wrongdoing by a magistrates’ court but has now left his job after being forced to endure a disciplinary investigation, upsetting parents who backed him and said he had been subjected to “horrible” treatment.

Mark Mackley, headteacher at St Bartholemews Primary School in Blackburn, Lancs, said: “After careful deliberation, Mr Cope has decided that he will not be returning to his position of deputy headteacher and has left the employment of the school with effect from 31 January, 2013.”

Mr Cope had described the boy at the centre of the allegations as the most badly behaved pupil he had known in 40 years of teaching. The boy was said to have flown into an “incandescent rage” at the time of the incident.

In the run up to the incident, he had hit up to ten classmates including girls with his satchel, pinned one to the wall by the throat and shouted at a teacher.

Mr Cope, described as a “dedicated and professional teacher of the highest standards” was asked to intervene when the boy was ordered out of class and was spotted in a corridor shouting at another form teacher.

Last August Mr Cope went on trial and if convicted could have faced up to six months jail but he was acquitted after saying the boy slammed his head against the teacher’s hand whilst violently swaying and rocking in a bid to run away.

Yet despite widespread backing for the teacher, he remained suspended from the 124-pupil school while education chiefs carried out a disciplinary investigation.

Eventually Mr Cope – who is thought to have suffered a heart minor attack since the court case – was said to have decided not to return to his £44,000 a year post after “careful deliberation.” It is thought the boy is still a pupil at the school.

Today Mr Cope from Accrington, Lancs, would only say: “I am sad to leave the profession after 41 years. I’m not saying anymore thank you.”

But Victoria Mather, 34, mother of one at the school : “I was very shocked when I found out, Mr Cope taught me when I was a young girl and that was over 20 years ago and he was always very good teacher.

“I think it’s horrible what has happened to him in the past year and he went through a lot because of that court case. It is no surprise that this has taken its toll, he’s been in the profession for such a long time, it’s not right that it has come to this but he has always had a lot of support from the parents who stood by him.”

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