Tuesday, July 5, 2022
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Scots teacher who allegedly dragged pupil along floor says she felt “ashamed” after “pulling youngster on their knees”

A SCOTS teacher who allegedly dragged a primary school pupil along the floor has said she felt “ashamed” after “pulling the youngster on their knees”.

Rachel Wadsworth was accused of leaving the youngster “terrified” during the incident at a school in South Lanarkshire in December 2017.

She has now partly admitted the allegation saying she didn’t realise the pupil was being pulled along as she was “distracted” with what was going on in her class.

Miss Wadsworth claims she was holding the pupil’s arm to encourage them to come back into class and that during this the pupil was “pulled on their knees”.

Rachel Wadsworth
Rachel Wadsworth.

The Scots teacher admitted she was “too eager” to get back to the classroom and was ‘walking too quickly’ at the time.

She also said she felt ashamed after realising what she had done and apologised to the pupil afterwards.

Miss Wadsworth is currently being investigated by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) over the incident which happened in September 2017.

She has also been accused of making the same pupil sit in a seat that she had urinated on.

Speaking at the GTCS panel this week in relation to the allegation of dragging the pupil, Miss Wadsworth said: “I admit this in part, but there was no violent element to it.

“(Support teacher) Mrs Dougall was supervising Pupil A at the sink.

“I heard a thud and I sent Pupil D with another pupil to go to the office.

“Pupil A ran out of the class.

“I took Mrs Dougall and went and got Pupil A.

“In the corridor I told the three pupils to stop and when they did I told the other two to carry on to the office.

“I told Pupil A not to not to go with them, then they collapsed to the ground.

“I took their hand, they needed a bit of encouragement to come back.

“I told them ‘up’ and that it was time for yoga.

“They crawled towards the class with me holding their hand.

“For five seconds my attention was diverted to what was happening in the class.

“I took a few steps forward and I heard them against the floor.

“Mrs Dougall said ‘you can’t do that’.

“I surmised that I walked with the child about one foot.

“On reflection I was too eager to get back to the class and I was walking too quickly.

“I was shocked that I pulled Pupil A on their knees.

“I fully accept that I walked them a couple of steps on their knees.

“I feel ashamed that I allowed myself to get distracted and I apologised to Pupil A.”

Miss Wadsworth also said she did not feel ready to take on the role at the Scots school.

She said: “I initially declined the role because of my lack of experience.

“I felt pressured to take the role in the class.

“When I first started the class management directed me to msk changes after the way the class was previously run.

“Particularly after support staff raised the issues at a meeting.

“Being a new teacher, I would have much preferred to carry on the way things were.”

Miss Wadsworth spoke about the difficulties she had working with the support staff in her class: “They recommended we have a group [chat] to share ideas in order to have a collaborative approach.

“I was met with real reluctance to give out phone numbers.

“I understand that I only knew them for a few months, so I suggested Facebook Messenger.

“I felt from the beginning it was an effort.

“I never felt that we got into a groove.

“We struggled to be on the same page, but we all wanted the best for the children.

“I felt very critiqued and that I always had to be on my toes.

“It was very detrimental when they started going to management to complain about me.

“I felt that the additional support I was given was an additional burden.

“I also experienced a gradual bullying from the support staff, they would insult me personally and professionally.

“They refused to follow my requests.

“They were saying things like ‘she’s not capable’ and making derogatory comments against the pupils.”

The GTCS heard from Richard White, a member of a church that Miss Wadsworth currently attends, who spoke on behalf of the teacher’s character.

He said: “Rachel opened up to me and said she had always struggled to pick up on subtle humour with adults.

“I have taken on mentoring her throughout the year.

“She has a greater self awareness on how her behaviour impacts others.

“Rachel’s desire to teach is so strong it helps keep her motivated.

“I do not believe that she is trying to distort events, it would be out of character for her.”

The hearing continues.

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