Teacher told not to work again after attack on student

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The Independent Online

A teacher who ruined an impeccable professional record when she attacked a pupil broke down in court yesterday as her conviction for assault was upheld.

Catherine Brandley, 52, was told she should never again work as a teacher, after pushing a nine-year-old boy with special needs into a wall at Sandbach School in Cheshire.

She denied the attack but was convicted of common assault by magistrates in Crewe earlier this year, and was ordered to serve 140 hours of community service and pay £100 in compensation.

Yesterday, Brandley, of Congleton, Cheshire, fought back tears at Chester Crown Court as Judge Elgin Edwards said he was satisfied she had prodded the boy five or six times in the chest, pushing him into a wall.

"In our view it is right that she should not work again as a teacher," he said.

Brandley was given a two-year conditional discharge on the grounds that she was medically unfit to serve the community service order imposed by the magistrates. The £100 compensation payment to the boy and the original £750 costs were upheld. She was also ordered to pay undisclosed defence costs and the £432 cost of the appeal.

Andy Kent, a National Union of Teachers regional spokesman said Brandley maintained she was innocent.

Brandley is suspended from teaching. A Cheshire County Council spokesman said there would be an internal disciplinary inquiry into the case.