Barking Abbey science teacher who banged hammer on desk dodges ban

Barking Abbey School, Miss Egunleti worked (pic: Google Street View)

Barking Abbey School, Miss Egunleti worked (pic: Google Street View) - Credit: Archant

A science teacher who banged on a table with a chair and a hammer to get her pupils’ attention because she was losing her voice can carry on teaching.

Anne Egunleti, 47, “frightened and intimidated” her Year 10 Barking Abbey class, a disciplinary panel heard.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership was told how she banged the hammer with such force it damaged the bench.

Egunleti was suspended following the May 2013 incident and sacked in September that year.

But a professional conduct panel in Coventry found on Thursday her misconduct was not serious enough to warrant a ban from the profession.

NCTL panel chairman Dr Geoffrey Penzer said: “In returning to the laboratory with the hammer, banging it on the table or bench and doing so in close proximity to pupil, Miss Egunleti’s actions caused pupils to feel frightened and intimidated.

“In our judgment, this was misconduct of a serious nature that fell significantly short of the standard of behaviour expected of a teacher.”

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But he added: “The panel does not regard the departure from the personal and professional conduct elements of the Teachers’ Standards to have been a serious one.

“Furthermore, the misconduct did not seriously affect the education or well-being of pupils.

“None of the other listed behaviours considered incompatible with being a teacher were present in this case.”

Noting Egunleti’s “previous good history”, the panel said banning her from teaching would not be in the public interest.

In written representations Egunleti said she wanted to get pupils’ attention as she was losing her voice – but she recognised using a hammer was inappropriate.

The decision maker on behalf of education minister Nicky Morgan, Paul Heathcote, accepted the panel’s recommendations.

He said: “Miss Egunleti […] has made clear her regret and apologised for her behaviour.”