Teacher who 'punched student' and made threat to another rightfully sacked

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Teacher who 'punched student' and made threat to another was rightfully sacked
Teacher who 'punched student' and made threat to another was rightfully sacked

A TEACHER who told a student that he would ‘kick his f***ing head in’ was fairly dismissed, a tribunal has found. 

Mohsin Patel was suspended from working at Belmont Special Educational Needs School in Rawtenstall following a second incident, in which he was alleged to have punched a boy in the face in a bid to restrain him.

Documents from a tribunal report reveal Patel was first involved in an incident with a pupil on September 30, 2019, when the boy is said to have bumped into him in the school corridor.

The incident was witnessed by a school taxi driver who said she saw Patel "very forcibly" pushing a student into the wall of his classroom.

The boy later recalled the teacher saying to him "the next time you do that I’m going to kick your f***ing head in" before leaving.

Patel was referred to the local authority designated officer (LADO) but was not suspended until a second incident was said to have taken place two weeks later on October 8.

On this occasion, records show the school’s operation manager had been called in to deal with an incident involving a 14-year-old boy, who was said to have been much bigger than Patel, weighing 16-and-a-half-stone.

A log of the incident details how the boy had been "disruptive" during class and a female teaching assistant had tried to guide him out of the room when he refused.

This resulted in the assistant and Mr Patel applying a 'figure of four’ physical restraint to the boy.

However he broken free before allegedly attempting to punch Patel in the face on three to four occasions before the teacher retaliated and punched the boy back, causing injury.

As he continued in his attempt to restrain the student the pair fell onto the floor, possibly causing the boy to cut his head on a water cooler.

It was the teacher’s case he had punched the student in self-defence.

The teaching assistant who had been in the room at the time later said the boy had been causing serious disruption before the incident and said he had become "really aggressive" before barging Patel into the filing cabinet and then her onto the floor.

She said he then "swung" for the teacher who reacted "for the safety of them both".

The matter was reported to the police by both the school and the boy’s parents, however matters were not proceeded with as the child was considered to be the aggressor and the instigator with Patel acting in self-defence.

Following a disciplinary hearing held in November, Patel was dismissed – a decision he later appealed internally but was upheld.

He launched an official complaint into his dismissal in April 2020 and a tribunal took place, ruled over by Judge Shotter.

Having read, studied and regarded all of the evidence and what had been said, Judge Shotter concluded: “This has been a difficult case to decide as I have a great deal of sympathy with the claimant and the predicament he found himself in with respect to [the second pupil] particularly, although with reference to [the first pupil] the claimant was the author of his own misfortune.

“Taking the claimant’s actions towards [the two students] cumulatively, his conduct was foolish, perverse and unreasonable in the circumstances set out within the factual matrix.

"He was wholly to blame for his dismissal, and unusually, had I found the claimant was unfairly dismissed, I would have gone on the conclude that it was just and equitable in all the circumstances to reduce the basic and compensatory award by 100 per cent, despite my sympathy for the claimant who has suffered by the poor decisions he made when dealing with [the students]."

Belmont School were approached for a comment.

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