Teacher used inappropriate force on pupils

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A TEACHER at a Wisbech school has been suspended from the classroom for six months by the General Teaching Council for using “inappropriate force” on three pupils over an eight-year period.

The GTC’s Professional Conduct Committee found Alan Briglin guilty of “unacceptable professional conduct” whilst employed at Thomas Clarkson Community College, formerly the Queens School Wisbech, which was formed by the merger of Queens’ Boys School and Queens Girls School in 1986.

It said Mr Briglin, who joined the Boys School in 1983, used inappropriate force against students on three occasions between 2000 and 2008.

The GTC findings say that, on December 5 2000, he “manhandled” Pupil B who was being obstructive and behaving disrespectfully and aggressively.

The disciplinary panel found that Mr Briglin manhandled the boy when trying to move him away from an area which resulted in buttons becoming detached from Pupil B’s shirt and Pupil B banging his head on the wall.

The findings say that, on December 19 2001, Mr Briglin held Pupil C by the jacket in the neck region and had to be requested twice by the headteacher to release the boy.

On November 17 2008, he is said to have pushed Pupil D on the chest multiple times whilst trying to move the pupil away from a door at the art building.

And there is said to have been an “angry exchange” between Mr Briglin and Pupil D, during which Mr Briglin placed his hands on Pupil D’s shoulders and pushed him back approximately a meter.

Committee chairman Derek Johns said: “The Committee finds that this was not an emergency, nor that physical contact was necessary. The Committee also finds that this incident occurred despite advice being given to him at a meeting on October 5 2005 and Mr Briglin agreeing that he must not under any circumstances touch a pupil unless it is an emergency.”

The Committee rejected an allegation that, in 1990, Mr Briglin took hold of Pupil A by the mouth.

However, in respect of the proved allegations, Mr Johns said: “The Committee finds that such conduct amounts to unacceptable professional conduct in that it is conduct which falls short of the standard expected of a registered teacher, and is behaviour which involves a breach of the standard of propriety expected of the profession.

“The Committee finds that the behaviour of Mr Briglin contravened the GTC’s Code of Conduct, in that he failed to ensure the well being of children, and failed to show sufficient expertise when controlling the behaviour of pupils under his care.

“It is vital that Mr Briglin’s behaviour should be such as to maintain the public’s confidence in the profession, and he failed in this respect.”

Adding that Mr Briglin had not provided any sort of apology or expression of regret for his behaviour, he said: “Taking account of the overall seriousness of Mr Briglin’s behaviour, the Committee concluded that a period of suspension is both necessary and proportionate.

“The sanction is also designed to ensure that it sends a signal that, whilst pupil behaviour is often demanding and antagonistic, it does not excuse behaviour such as that shown by Mr Briglin.”

The suspension will last six months. Mr Briglin has a right of appeal to the High Court within 28 days.