Teacher disciplined after branding pupils ‘beasts’

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A FOUL-MOUTHED teacher who called her special needs pupils “beasts” has been reprimanded by school watchdogs.

Lorraine Bloice (corr), 32, worked at a school for children with severe learning difficulties in Aberdeen.

A General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) panel was told she referred to one pupil as a “little s***” and when a child fell asleep in class she said “don’t wake the beast”.

When a colleague asked if children in her class had had their morning snack, the music teacher said “yes let the beasts free, let the beasts free.“

Ms Bloice told the panel she had referred to the children as “beasts” as a joke which colleagues didn’t get and she didn’t realise they were offended.

In reference to a pupil who often fell asleep after lunch, named only as pupil A, she said “don’t wake the beast” several times in September 2011.

The GTCS panel said: “[Ms Bloice] said that this came originally from a reference to Pupil A as “sleeping beauty” and “beauty and the beast” because of her pattern of challenging behaviour before lunchtime and her habit of falling asleep after lunch.

 

Jokingly

“She said that this had been a standing joke among members of the classroom team prior to the summer break.”

The panel added: “She claimed that the comments had been light-hearted and made jokingly.

“She said that the reference to ‘let the beasts free’ was a flippant remark because the children had been in class all morning.”

Ms Bloice, represented at the hearing by Alastair Milne, said there had been a significant turnover of staff at the school and her new colleagues had not been aware of her attempt at humour.

Also in September 2011, she said of a male pupil, named only as Pupil B, “he has been a little s*** today” and later said “I’ve done f*** all today.”

The teacher also admitted calling a pupil a “boot”, and that on 16 September she said “yes let the beasts free, let the beasts free” when a colleague asked if pupils had finished their morning snack.

The panel noted Ms Bloice was well regarded and there were no complaints about her behaviour before or after September 2011.

The panel said: “Nevertheless, the behaviour exhibited by the Respondent raised serious questions about her practice as a teacher.”

 

Unnaceptable

They continued: “The Panel considered that it was necessary in this case to send a strong message to the Respondent, the teaching profession and to the public generally that conduct of this kind is unacceptable for a registered teacher and concluded that a Reprimand was not an adequate outcome to make in this case.”

She was ordered to send the GTCS details of courses she passed on a yearly basis, and keep up to date with the latest training on moving and handling vulnerable children.

She must also immediately tell the GTCS if she was subjected to disciplinary action with regards to her conduct.

Ms Bloice admitted five charges and other allegations were found proved by the panel.

A complaint she manhandled a pupil was found not proved, and further complaints about moving pupils were only found partially proved.

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