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NEW ORDEAL FOR CLEARED TEACHER

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A teacher cleared of assaulting a disruptive pupil in a landmark court case has been told he could still face a dis...
A teacher cleared of assaulting a disruptive pupil in a landmark court case has been told he could still face a disciplinary hearing that could end his career, reported The Mail on Sunday (p43).

Haydn Watkins, a 64-year-old supply teacher, was acquitted last month of assaulting a 12-year-old boy who had been causing trouble in a geography lesson. In a verdict described by teaching union as 'an outbreak of commonsense', district judge Gareth Cowling, sitting at Alton, Hampshire, said Mr Watkins had been entitled to use some physical force to exercise his authority over the boy.

The decision reinterpreted human rights legislation which lays down near-automatic assault charges against teachers who physically discipline children.

However, Mr Watkins has learned his ordeal is far from over. Hampshire CC confirmed it is launching its own investigation. It could result in a disciplinary hearing and a ban from teaching in the county if he is found guilty of misconduct - effectively ending his career.

A council spokesman said: 'This type of investigation is carried out after all criminal court hearings involving teachers, regardless of their outcome. The results will determine whether any action by the local education authority is necessary'.

His case mirrors that of headteacher Marjorie Evans, who was cleared of slapping a 10-year-old boy at a school in Wales in 1999. She then had to fight a disciplinary hearing before she was allowed to return to her job 18 months later. She is now suing Monmouthsire education authority for the strees she suffered.

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