PE teacher banned from profession after smacking four-year-old boy

Ian Webber has been banned indefinitely from the teaching profession

Eleanor Sly@eleanor_sly
Thursday 25 February 2021 15:57
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<p>The boy was taking part in an after-school football club</p>

The boy was taking part in an after-school football club

A Physical Education teacher in the West Midlands has been banned from the profession after he slapped a boy on the knees.

The incident occurred on 23 May 2018 when Ian Webber, 56, hit a four-year-old boy on the knees during an after-school football club at a school in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands.

The young boy was apparently pulling post-it notes off a wall display, which Mr Webber told him off for doing.

The four-year-old threw a tantrum, to which Mr Webber responded: “If you kick me again, I’ll smack you.” He went on to slap the four-year-old twice on the knees, having carried him across the sports hall by his shoulders.

The 6ft 2in sports teacher, who hails from Polesworth in Warwickshire, denied having assaulted the child but was found guilty at a hearing in February 2019, at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

District Judge David Robinson found Mr Webber to be guilty of “assault by beating,” having called the victim’s evidence, along with that of three other boys, “clear and plausible.”

At the time of the hearing, the PE teacher was handed a conditional discharge and instructed to pay court costs of £850 as well as a victim surcharge of £20.

He has now been banned from teaching for the rest of his life, with a misconduct panel from the Teaching Regulation Agency saying that his actions amounted to “unacceptable” conduct. 

This is not the first time that the teacher has behaved inappropriately towards children, in 2016 Mr Webber was issued with a warning when in 2016 he flicked a child’s throat at the same school.

The review acknowledged the previous incident and said that the teacher’s conduct had “become worse” since the initial episode.  

Alan Meyrick, the panel chairman, said: “His conduct involved inappropriate physical contact with a very young nursery aged child.

“It involved repeated slapping of a four-year-old child on the knees in response to his behaviour at an after school football practice.”

According to Mr Meyrick, the panel decided that “prohibition was proportionate and appropriate” in order to protect other pupils from the 56-year-old.

The panel also cited how they were concerned over Mr Webber’s “glaring lack of remorse concerning what he did and clear lack of insight into its effect.”

They added that the risk further incidents could occur was “clear and obvious.”

Mr Webber has maintained that he is innocent, in spite of having been found guilty in court where he denied striking the boy, saying that he could have been giving the child a “high five.”

The ban is indefinite and means that the sports teacher will be prohibited from teaching in all schools, sixth-form colleges, youth accommodation and children’s homes in England.

The decision also stops Mr Webber from applying for restoration of his status as a teacher.

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