A primary school teacher faces seven charges of professional misconduct after he held a boy under a bean bag despite his struggling, kicking and screaming, to get free.
A hearing in Cardiff heard how Philip Meredith sat on the beanbag, which was the size of a bed, to restrain the child.
The classroom teaching assistant, Ellen Sheldon, was in the classroom at the time of the incident. She broke down as she told the professional conduct hearing what had happened at the Ty Sign Primary School in Risca, near Caerphilly:
“There was a fight between Pupil A and another child. Pupil A was put into a restraint by Mr Meredith on to the bean bag. I didn’t see how he got from there to under the bean bag. I could see his feet kicking and he was shouting ‘Get off, get off’. I would estimate he was under the bean bag for four to five minutes. I’ve never had to deal with anything like this… and I never want to deal with it again. It’s made me feel ill.”
The panel also heard that Mr Meredith held Pupil A on the floor, holding his face against the carpet. The child was aged 10 or 11 at the time. Mr Meredith is also accused of doing the same thing to another child, referred to at the hearing as Pupil B.
The school’s headteacher, Alison Dacey, told the hearing that the school had worked with Mr Meredith on a “number of concerns” about his teaching methods and behaviour in the classroom: “I was quite concerned from an early stage about the way he spoke to the children. He seemed to shout at them. We have a no shouting policy in the school. I spoke to him about it on several occasions and encouraged him to reduce the volume of his voice.”
Ms Dacey said she also saw an injury on Pupil A’s arm: “It had the appearance of carpet burn and was a couple of days old and it had blistering on it. No restraint form had been completed.”
Mr Meredith was suspended after Ms Sheldon reported the bean bag incident and was latter dismissed.
Mr Meredith denies all the claims and the hearing continues.