Former Bedgrove Junior School head who dragged autistic boy down some stairs banned from teaching

Graham Norris pictured in 2009
Graham Norris pictured in 2009

The former head of Bedgrove Junior School, who dragged an autistic boy down the stairs and did not manage school funds properly has been banned from teaching for four years.

Graham Norris was struck off this week by the National College of Teaching and Leadership, working on behalf of Education Secretary Nicky Morgan.

The panel heard that Mr Norris, who served in his post from 2007 to 2012 when he was suspended, held a pupil with autism by the arm and dragged him down the stairs.

In 2012 Mr Norris threatened to hit a pupil and hurt his hand, touched several pupils on the back of their legs with his hand and slapped a pupil on the back of the leg causing a red mark.

Mr Norris also failed to report a number of child safeguarding concerns to the appropriate authorities, potentially putting children in danger.

The panel heard that the headteacher also failed to properly use school funds.

He loaned £800 of school money to an employee of the school.

Mr Norris was shown to have bought an unreasonable amount of meals on the school’s procurement card, and bought lunch items from Tesco.

In June 2011 he charged a £570 service for his car onto the school card.

A budget surplus of school money which totalled £71,000 was referred to by Mr Norris as ‘the slush fund’.

Mr Norris did not respond to any of the allegations and the hearing continued in his absence.

The report said: “Mr Norris’ actions all demonstrate a significant falling short of the standard to be expected of a headteacher who was the safeguarding lead within a junior school.

“This is exacerbated by the fact that he was child protection trainer and had sole responsibility for training staff within the school.

“It is entirely unacceptable for a teacher to have the sort of physical contact he did with these pupils.”

It added: “The panel considered that Mr Norris demonstrated blatant and deliberate financial mismanagement.

“He ensured that he alone fully understood the full picture of the school’s finances and deliberately manipulated them for purposes to which they should not be put.”

The report concluded: “Mr Graham is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in an school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

“He may apply for the prohibition order to be set aside, but not until October 13 2019, four years from the date of this order at the earliest.”

Under Mr Norris’ leadership the school was judged outstanding by Ofsted in 2010, but in 2013 was judged to be inadequate. He formally left his position in 2014.

The school now has a good rating from inspectors.