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Teacher Sacked For Assaulting Pupils 'Violently Attacked A Schoolboy After Finding Work As A Supply Teacher'

14/08/2014 16:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

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A disciplinary panel has heard that a geography teacher who was sacked for assaulting pupils continued teaching as a supply teacher where he violently attacked a schoolboy.

The Mirror reports that Barrie Mugford, from Bristol, had been the long-standing head of geography at Caldicot School, in Newport, south Wales. He was sacked for gross misconduct in 2006 after a series of violent incidents against teenagers at the school.

He went on to work as a supply teacher at a school in Bristol several years later after allegedly suppressing his classroom record in Wales to find work.

He has now been accused of attacking a schoolboy at the Oasis Academy in Bristol, where he worked as a supply teacher in April 2012.

In the confrontation he is accused of grabbing the boy and pulling him down on to a table.

The boy said Mugford had told him "If there is one boy in the world I would like to punch it's you."

Giving evidence at the hearing, Susan Gwyer-Roberts, head at Caldicot School, said there had been two independent investigations into violent incidents.

Mrs Gwyer-Roberts said he must have been a "very able" teacher in the past but standards in geography were "declining," by the time she took over.

She described him as the sort of teacher who leans over pupils and was "not popular."

Mugford was accused of grabbing a schoolboy - referred to as pupil A - around the neck, leaving red marks, in the first alleged incident in a corridor in May 2004.

The head teacher eventually gave him a verbal warning for his conduct but he went on to have an alleged physical confrontation with two schoolgirls the following year.

In one case he held one of the schoolgirls by the jaw and squeezed her face to see what she was eating, giving her a tooth ache.

Mugford was suspended and given a final written warning, but within a year of returning to work he faced an allegation of hitting a schoolboy on the head during a lesson.

Described as a "opened handed slap", the schoolboy's parents wrote complaining of the incident and an investigation was triggered.

Mugford initially claimed he had touched him accidentally but later claimed it had been a "playful gesture."

A series of pupils gave evidence confirming the attack and after two weeks Mugford, whose overall behaviour was taken into account, was sacked.

He, however, claimed pupils at the school conspired against him and Mrs Gwyer-Roberts admitted some of those who gave evidence against him "were no angels".

After finding work at the Oasis Academy in Bristol, Mugford was also accused of attacking a schoolboy.

The panel heard that his account of the incident was inconsistent, beginning with him claiming there was no contact - but later saying he could not remember.

The professional panel heard that 14 pupils at the school all gave statements confirming the incident had happened as the victim described.

Mugford had got the supply teaching post through the agency New Directions Education Ltd allegedly without revealing he had been dismissed from the school in Wales.

Rosa Fernandez, summing up the General Teaching Council for Wales case against Mugford, dismissed suggestions that he was the victim of a conspiracy.

She said that because the allegations relate to "two entirely different schools" so far apart that was unlikely "on the balance of probability".

"There is nothing to suggest a conspiracy against him," she said.

She said that, in her view, the individual incidents "were deliberate acts and not one-off isolated cases".

The panel has to decide whether the allegations against him are proved, and if so whether they collectively amount to unacceptable professional conduct.

The third issue they have to determine, if he is guilty, is what to do. The ultimate penalty is to impose an order banning him from the classroom.

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