Teacher suspended for bullying primary pupils

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A teacher who bullied her pupils to the extent that some of them began bed-wetting and one showed signs of psychological abuse was found guilty of professional misconduct and suspended for one year yesterday.

Joanna Hyde was a Year 5 teacher at the Welsh medium school Ysgol y Berllan Deg, in Cardiff, when concerns were raised on behalf of 15 pupils aged nine and 10 in her class in early 2007. A panel from the General Teaching Council for Wales heard evidence that she threw a book at one pupil and called another "a wimp" and "a clown" in front of the class.

One pupil was so intimidated he asked his mother to dye his red hair brown so he would be less noticeable to Ms Hyde, the hearing was told. It heard that Ms Hyde also persisted in getting pupils to fill in a behaviour chart in the classroom despite it being against school policy and being told to use a reward system instead, the panel heard. Ms Hyde, 27, did not attend the hearing and was not represented, but admitted in writing that her behaviour amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.

She must successfully complete training in positive behaviour management before she is eligible to register as a teacher again. The panel found that she refused to comply with reasonable instruction and showed conduct incompatible with the ethos of the school. It also found that she displayed inappropriate behaviour or conduct, and bullying or intimidating behaviour, towards pupils.