Primary school headteacher who used 'unnecessary force' on pupil banned from teaching

A former primary school headteacher has been banned from teaching after she used “unnecessary force” to restrain a pupil and took another out for a meal at McDonald’s.

Burton-upon-Stather Primary School in Scunthorpe

Sarah Brown, 50, who was the headteacher of Burton-upon-Stather Primary School in Scunthorpe, was struck off by the Teaching Regulation Agency, following a professional conduct panel hearing in May.

A report on the hearing states that when she was called to deal with a disruptive pupil who was throwing objects during a lesson in January 2018, she “used her legs, in some fashion, to hold down” the pupil.

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One witness claimed she restrained the child for around 30 minutes and they were “visibly distressed” and “kicking and resisting”.

The panel found that physical contact “was necessary at the outset of the incident” and the use of legs was not “necessarily inappropriate” but “she used unnecessary force and caused distress”.

The hearing also heard she had taken another pupil out on a trip to the park and McDonald’s in November 2017 and the panel found her actions “amounted to a failure to maintain appropriate professional boundaries”.

Mrs Brown said she wanted to help the child, who had “witnessed a traumatic event”, and she had parental permission and had emailed the school’s admin team to say the child should be marked as being educated off site that day.

The former headteacher was also accused of using school funds to buy clothes for two members of staff and authorising overtime “inappropriate” payments.

The panel found one employee had claimed 70 hours overtime and the other claimed 60 hours but there “was no need for the amount of overtime claimed to be carried out and that some of the hours claimed for were not undertaken in respect of both individuals”.

Mrs Brown, who did not attend the hearings due to health reasons, can apply for the banning order to be reviewed in 2025.

The report states: "The panel considered that public confidence in the profession could be seriously weakened if conduct such as that found against Mrs Brown were not treated with the utmost seriousness when regulating the conduct of the profession."