Wales

Primary teacher Claire Jarrett accused of bullying campaign

  • 5 February 2014
  • From the section Wales

A primary school teacher assaulted a five-year-old boy during a campaign of bullying, a disciplinary hearing has been told.

Claire Jarrett, 46, was leading rehearsals for a carol concert when she allegedly lost her temper and swung the boy across the school hall.

A colleague at Aberbargoed Primary, Caerphilly county, said her stomach churned at the alleged incident.

Miss Jarrett denies all the allegations regarding Pupil A.

She was charged with common assault by police after the incident but was never taken to trial.

The General Teaching Council for Wales hearing in Cardiff on Tuesday was told the alleged assault was part of a campaign of bullying against the five-year-old boy, which lasted several months.

Fellow infants teacher Sarah Driscoll said: "We were in the hall rehearsing for the Christmas concert.

"I was in the hall fitting costumes when I heard Miss Jarrett shout 'get out' very loudly and aggressively at Pupil A.

"I saw her take hold of his left arm and lift him while he was still in the cross legged seating position over the row of children sat in front of him."

Mrs Driscoll told the hearing the "very slight" child was pulled through the front row of children and swung through the air then slid along the hall floor.

She said: "I was shocked and it made my stomach churn. Everyone in the hall was quiet afterwards and the situation was quite tense.

Child protection

"Her actions were totally unacceptable and I felt it was wrong for any child to be treated that way.

"I wouldn't want my child to be treated in that manner and I wouldn't want anyone else's to be.

"I wish I hadn't seen what I saw but I did, and I had to report it."

Presenting officer Emma Burns said the incident was one of many which were brought to the attention of the head teacher and the child protection authorities in December 2009 and January 2010.

She said Ms Jarrett, who is accused of unacceptable professional conduct, was also accused of rolling up a carol concert programme and hitting Pupil A on the head during rehearsals.

Several weeks later it was reported she grabbed the child in a toilet cubicle and forced his hands under a tap before pushing him outside, the hearing was told.

Ms Burns said the teacher was also seen pulling Pupil A off a bike and dragging him by the wrist while shouting at him to get in line.

'Short-tempered'

Teachers said Pupil A had some "behaviour issues" and found it difficult to concentrate.

However, they said they would never need to physically intervene to discipline the pupil.

The hearing was told fellow teacher Lyanne Pyle had made a statement to police during their common assault investigation.

Miss Pyle told officers: "Miss Jarrett frequently handled the children inappropriately.

"She would take hold of children by the wrist and drag them along.

"She always seemed to shout at children and seemed short tempered and aggressive and spoke through her teeth, and the children seemed scared of her."

Ms Jarrett, who did not attend the hearing, denies all the allegations against her regarding the bullying of Pupil A.

Her representative David Browne said she did admit a separate allegation against another pupil in which she told colleagues not to change a schoolboy who had wet himself.

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