Teacher struck off for hitting pupil with chisel


A DESIGN and technology teacher who struck a pupil on the hand with a chisel and slapped another across the head has been removed from the teaching register.

Douglas Tredinnick was working as a supply teacher at St Machar Academy in Aberdeen when the two allegations were made against him, just six days apart.

An investigation was launched after two pupils claimed he had used violent behaviour towards them.

At a hearing of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) yesterday (Tue), Janice Duncan, who the acting depute head at the time, told the disciplinary sub-committee that a second year boy had told her Mr Tredinnick struck him on the hand with a chisel during class time.

She said: “I was leaving my office just at the beginning of the morning interval and the pupil was waiting for me outside my room.

“He looked visibly upset so I asked him to tell me what was wrong.

“He said Douglas Tredinnick had just hit him with a chisel.

“The pupil told me he had been standing with a group of classmates chatting, and he had been holding a chisel and that his teacher had come over and hit him over the back of the hand.””

Ms Duncan told the panel that she had inspected the boy’s hand and that it had a red mark “over the knuckles, around the pinkie and the ring finger area”.

She said: “It wasn’t swollen but it was definitely red and stretched back about a third of the way of his hand.

“I assured him that he had done the right thing in coming to me – I think he felt he could trust me as I had been his guidance teacher during his first year at the school.”

Michelle Skellern, the school’s principal teacher of guidance, gave evidence about the second alleged incident.

She said: “Two pupils came to me with concerns about Donald Tredinnick, having just come from his class.

“They said they saw Mr Tredinnick hit another pupil on the back of the head and that they had left the room immediately to come and report it.

“They were quite jittery and seemed as though they were in shock.””

A formal investigation then followed, with head teacher Neil Hendry assigned as the investigating officer.

He told the sub-committee that Mr Tredinnick had denied the first allegation, but admitted making “some contact””with a pupil in the second instance.

Mr Hendry said: “He denied the first allegation involving the chisel. He did however accept the second allegation but claimed it was a softer touch.

“He said a slap would have made a noise but that there was no noise.””

A number of pupils from the school gave statements by way of video links.

Each of the five children giving statements had either been directly involved, or had witnessed one of the witnesses.

Both incidents occurred during September 2008.

The GTCS sub-committee found that the facts were proven and that Mr Tredinnick was guilty of relevant misconduct.

Niall McLean, representing the GTCS, said: “Children are entitled to feel safe in their class.

“The respondent breached their trust and any trust the public could have had in him or for the teaching profession.”

Mr Tredinnick, who has since retired, was not represent at the hearing and had not arranged any representation.

Jason Fitzgerald, convener of the disciplinary sub-committee, said: “The sub-committee decided to remove the respondent’s name from the register and that the respondent should be prohibited from applying for restoration to the register for a period of 12 months.”