North East Wales

Wrexham teacher Mark Salisbury suspended over headlock

A Wrexham teacher slapped a pupil and put him in a headlock, a professional conduct committee has been told.

Mark Salisbury, a senior teacher at an education centre for excluded children, was dismissed at a disciplinary hearing in July 2009 for gross misconduct.

The General Teaching Council committee found the facts in the case and suspended him from the teaching profession for a period of one year.

Mr Salisbury was not at the hearing in Ewloe, Flintshire, on Wednesday.

It heard from two of his former colleagues at Dodds Lane Student Centre, Gwersyllt, at the time of the incident in 2008.

Karen Rathbone, a classroom assistant at the time, described how she had been sitting at a desk with a 14-year-old pupil, known throughout the hearing as Pupil A, when Mr Salisbury approached and reproached him for a previous incident involving other students.

'Angry and upset'

She said he slapped the boy at least twice on the side of the head and then placed him in a headlock and poked him with a crutch that he was using at the time.

Mrs Rathbone said that the pupil was angry and upset and hit Mr Salisbury back.

Support worker John Stewart told the panel he heard raised voices and came out of his classroom to see Mr Salisbury with his arm around pupil A's neck.

Both staff members filled in incident report forms and Mr Salisbury was suspended two days later, the panel heard.

In a statement he made during the investigation, he described the exchange with pupil A is being "entirely friendly".

But he was dismissed at a disciplinary hearing in July 2009 for gross misconduct, withdrawing an appeal a few months later due to health reasons, the panel was told.

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