Teacher banned ‘after hitting special needs child over head’

The Evening Standard is reporting that a special needs teacher who previously had a public row with Michael Gove over her free school application has been banned from the classroom after allegedly hitting a five-year-old around the head and pushing him off his chair. 

Kay Johnston, 59, was barred from teaching indefinitely after also allowing a teaching assistant to humiliate the child, who had “complex learning difficulties”.

Scotland Yard officers investigated a separate incident at East Wickham Primary Academy, in Bexley, and cautioned a 20-year-old classroom assistant for child cruelty involving the same pupil. 

Johnston, who tried to gag the press by unsuccessfully applying to have her misconduct hearing in private, was not investigated by officers but found on “the balance of probabilities” to have hit the child on January 29, 2014, after the misconduct panel viewed CCTV.

She today told the Standard she will be “fighting” the case, but refused to comment further. 

The National College for Teaching and Leadership panel report states that they saw images showing Ms Johnston “raise her hand”, which then moves towards the pupil’s head, with the child’s head and upper body then seen “to jerk to the side”.

Just minutes later, the report says, the CCTV shows her seemingly pushing the five-year-old, who has special needs, off his chair. The panel ruled: “Ms Johnston is seen to lift his leg and tip the chair, causing him to fall to the floor.”

The report states two days later the teacher of 30 years’ experience made “no effort” to stop assistants “manhandling” the child, who is seen being spun on his back by the feet, carried across the room and “roughly returned” to class from the sensory room. 

The pupil’s shoelaces were also tied together for two hours, causing him “discomfort” and “falling over on a number of occasions”, the panel said…

Ms Johnston was thrust into the public eye after having her application to set up a free school in Lewisham rejected by the Department for Education four times — accusing the department and then education secretary Mr Gove of racism…

More at: Teacher banned ‘after hitting special needs child over head’


Read or download the report from the NCTL panel in full:

[pdf-embedder url=”https://4cpa373vsw6v3t1suthjdjgv-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Johnston_Kay_Web_Decision.pdf”]

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