Teacher accused of grabbing pupil by neck

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A HIGH school maths teacher’s career is on the line after he was accused of grabbing a pupil by the neck.

John Watson, a teacher at Inveralmond Community High School in Ladywell, Livingston, faces a full hearing before the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) next week, which will decide whether he can remain in the classroom.

It is claimed Watson grabbed a pupil by his clothing and forced him on to a table on March 21 last year. The teacher is then accused of holding the student down on the table and placing his hands around the child’s neck and clothing.

GTCS officials will be told during Thursday’s hearing that Watson “permitted and engaged in inappropriate behaviour” throughout the course of the alleged altercation, and caused “distress and upset” to the pupil concerned.

He is accused of breaching four parts of the GTCS Code of Professionalism and Conduct, which all teaching staff must observe in order to remain on the national register.

The alleged breaches of ­conduct include a clause that states teachers must maintain appropriate professional boundaries, avoid improper contact with pupils and avoid any situations that could be in breach of the criminal law.

The hearing, which will take place at GTC Scotland’s ­Clermiston Road headquarters, will hear evidence presented from both parties involved before a professional panel makes a ruling.

If found guilty, Watson could face being stripped of his place on the national teaching register.

A West Lothian Council source said the maths teacher remained employed by the authority and would keep his job unless the GTCS ruled against him.

A spokesman for the council declined to comment on the hearing.

Inveralmond Community High School has been rocked by teaching scandals in recent years.

Last year, it emerged that rogue music teacher Billy Russell had been allowed to teach children at Inveralmond for six years – despite the fact that he did not have proper qualifications.

The popular teacher failed to produce proof of his teaching qualifications on multiple occasions when asked, but was still permitted to teach children at the Livingston school from 2006 to 2012.

And in 2002, a former principal teacher of modern studies, John Lloyd, was sacked after he was faced with allegations of sexual misconduct – even though the criminal charges were dropped.