24/03/2011 09:25 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Nursery Teacher Sprayed Air Freshener On Pupils For 'Smelling Of Curry'

Swansea's Haford Primary School, where teacher sprayed air freshener on pupils 'smelling of curry' This does seem extremely bizarre. What do you think?

A nursery teacher sprayed air freshener over Asian pupils she described as smelling of curry in the mornings, a tribunal heard yesterday.

Elizabeth Davies, 48, was accused of humiliating children aged from three to six by using the aerosol during nursery class.

The hearing was told she accused Bangladeshi children of smelling of onions or curry and would say 'There is a waft coming in from paradise' before blasting the air freshener.

Mrs Davies is also accused of spraying pupils who broke wind, of washing children's hands with pine scented disinfectant and of making those who accidentally wet themselves stand on newspaper.

An investigation was launched after a parent complained.

Mrs Davies, a nursery school teacher for 20 years, taught at an inner-city school where more than half of her pupils were Bangladeshi.

A disciplinary hearing of the General Teaching Council for Wales heard she was later sacked from her £34,000-a-year job at Hafod Primary School in Swansea over 'child protection concerns.'

Learning support assistant Jan Islam told the hearing: 'Mrs Davies would wash the children's hands in a bowl containing pine disinfectant.

'She would spray air freshener almost daily.

'Children would sit on the carpet. If they had broken wind she would stand above them and spray air freshener at them.

'I've also done this myself on her direction. She would get me to spray it over them.

'If a child came in smelling in of onion or curry she would say: "There is a waft coming in from paradise."'

Mother-of-two Mrs Islam said the spray was 'usually' for children who spoke English as a second language.

She highlighted the case of a three-year-old boy who broke wind - and was sprayed with the aerosol freshener.

If a young child accidentally wet themselves, Mrs Islam said: 'Mrs Davies would say that we are not here to babysit the children and to call their parents.

'Pupils would be told to stand on newspaper until their parents arrived to collect them.'

The hearing was told the 260-pupil school had children aged between two to eleven with a large Asian community - with more than 50 per cent from a Bangladeshi background in the nursery.

Presenting officer Martin Jones said Mrs Davies was a 'very experienced teacher who should be expected to understand acceptable behaviour.'

Mrs Davies denies five allegations of spraying aerosol at pupils, washing pupils hands in disinfectant and making children stand on newspaper.

She is also accused of asking her support staff to spray the children.

Head teacher Rachel Webb was asked what damage air freshener could cause to young children.

She replied: 'It is demeaning, dangerous and embarrassing for a child. It could cause serious damage to a child's health.'

Police launched an investigation after a parent of one of the children made a formal complaint that it was an assault.

South Wales Police said that Mrs Davies would not be facing any charges in connection with the complaints.

Mrs Davies, of Cilfrew, Neath, was suspended on full pay for 18 months while an investigation was carried out. She was later dismissed.

She did not attend Monday's hearing in Cardiff but is represented by the National Union of Teachers.

The hearing, to decide whether she should be struck off the teaching register, continues.

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