Church of Scotland teacher banned for assaulting vulnerable boy

A teacher who assaulted a vulnerable pupil at a Church of Scotland school after an argument over a packet of crisps has been banned from the profession for life.

Ian Paterson lifted the 14-year-old boy – named as Pupil A – off the ground and violently threw him to the floor during the altercation at the Geilsland Residential School, in Beith, Ayrshire.

Paterson had been involved in an “aggressive verbal exchange” with Pupil A before grabbing his collar, lifting from the floor and shaking him.

The youngster was said to have been left “shocked and tearful” following the incident in Paterson’s classroom, which was witnessed by a fellow teacher, on January 21, 2009.

Paterson failed to appear before a disciplinary panel of the General Teaching Council for Scotland.

The panel heard evidence from teacher Julie Lee who witnessed the assault after she took the youngster to Paterson’s classroom.

The GTCS committee said her evidence was “credible and reliable” and she had “a clear recollection of events”.

The GTCS panel decided that neither a reprimand nor a conditional order was appropriate and decided to remove Paterson’s name from the teaching register.

The panel also decided Paterson will not have his name referred to the Protection Unit of Disclosure Scotland for consideration of those disqualified from working with children as it stated Pupil A was not physically harmed, and there was no risk of harm to children.

Geilsland is a residential school that offers education, care and social support for boys between 14 and 18 years of age and who are experiencing educational, social and behavioural difficulties.

The school is run by Crossreach, the operational wing of the Church of Scotland Social care Council.