South East Wales

Teacher Regina Hungerford 'hit' pupil with notebook

Regina Hungerford Image copyright Wales News Service

A teacher said to have hit a pupil with a notebook has had an unprofessional conduct case against her found proven.

Regina Hungerford, 55, denied striking the 17-year-old when she lost her temper as he listened to music in her classroom at Merthyr Tydfil College.

She previously had a common assault conviction quashed on appeal, saying the notebook was slammed on the desk.

But on Friday, the Education Workforce Council ruled contact with the pupil was probably made and was unacceptable.

It will decide whether to strike her off the register at a later date.

Panel chairman Gareth Roberts said: "There was a momentary lapse of control and in that moment Mrs Hungerford acted in breach of teaching principles.

"It put at risk the public trust in the profession and her conduct fell far short of the standard expected of a registered teacher.

"Pupil A's behaviour was difficult to manage but we have concluded she acted in an inappropriate way."

Image copyright Wales News Service

During the hearing, Mrs Hungerford's lawyer Adam Ohringer said her "calm and patient" experience with challenging students meant she would not have struck the boy.

"She readily accepts she lost her temper in response to his behaviour," he said.

"She slammed the notebook down on the desk as a sign of her anger.

"It is something she regrets but as far as she can say she didn't make contact with him and certainly didn't intend to make contact with him."

Delivering the panel's ruling, Mr Roberts said, on the balance of probabilities, she had made physical conduct with the pupil on the head or the hand.

They found the case against her proven.

He said the pupil's evidence was "far from satisfactory", adding: "But in general terms it was credible."

He said statements from classroom assistants that she made contact with the pupil were also credible.

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