Primary teacher who let children arm wrestle in class struck off


A TEACHER who let children arm wrestle and “blindfold” each other with their hands in class has agreed to be struck off.

Primary teacher Malcolm Monaghan, who taught in Glasgow, is now barred from the profession for two years.

A child was seen swinging back and forward on a chair, and 57-year-old Mr Monaghan did not set his pupils challenging tasks.

In one case he spent around 40 minutes explaining a maths lesson before setting pupils to work.

Teaching regulators the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) said he had failed to show he was able to manage pupil behaviour and organise lessons properly.

A GTCS statement told Mr Monaghan: “In a lesson observed by S. Allen on 27 April 2011, you showed very poor awareness of the overall classroom situation.

“You allowed pupils to talk, arm wrestle or play games without challenging them.

“Pupils were rewarded by you with praise for work that they had done at the end of the lesson when some had put little effort into that work.”



In another lesson Mr Monaghan failed to challenge pupils who were chatting instead of doing work.

“In a reading lesson observed by G. Lemay on 24 May 2011, you also showed very poor awareness of the behaviour of the class as a whole.

“One pupil was observed “blindfolding” other pupils with her hands, others were talking about social activities and another was swinging on a chair.

“You did not challenge this behaviour or seek to manage it.

“Rewards and sanctions were not used in order to manage pupil behaviour.”

Mr Monaghan also set pupils tasks which were too basic for them, in one case giving a colouring task in a maths lesson.

The GTCS said: “In a mathematics lesson observed by S. Allen on 11 June 2009, you spent too much time at the start of the lesson introducing the activities with the result that it was forty minutes into the lesson and pupils had not yet started working independently.

“In that same lesson, you set pupils a colouring task that was too basic for them and did not allow you to ensure that the learning intention had been achieved.”



In another lesson “most pupils were simply copying words into their jotters from the whiteboard,” the GTCS said.

In the same lesson, in february last year, the GTCS said: “As an additional activity, pupils had to draw a picture for one of their chosen words.

This was too simple a task for the majority of pupils and did not enhance their learning.

“Most pupils had finished the writing task quickly and then had lots of time to draw.

“The lesson made ineffective use of time and did not provide an appropriate pace of learning.”

Mr Monaghan’s statement said: “I freely and willingly consent to being removed from the Register in view of my admission of the allegation set out above and understand that I will be prohibited from applying for restoration to the Register for a period of 2 years from the date of removal.”

The GTCS would not reveal which school Mr Monaghan taught at due to “data protection reasons”.