Scots teacher accused of dragging child with special needs along the floor faces being struck off

14th March, 2022 11:08 am

Rachel Wadsworth has been accused of leaving the youngster, who had a mental age of 18-24 months, “terrified” during the incident at Carstairs Junction Primary School in South Lanarkshire in December 2017.

Carstairs Junction Primary School, South Lanarkshire where the incident is alleged to have taken place
Carstairs Junction Primary School, South Lanarkshire where the incident is alleged to have taken place (Image: Google Maps)

Scots teacher who allegedly dragged a P2 pupil with special needs along the floor faces being struck off.

Rachel Wadsworth has been accused of leaving the youngster, who had a mental age of 18-24 months, “terrified” during the incident in December 2017.

Miss Wadsworth is said to have pulled the non-verbal girl across the floor by her wrist whilst teaching at Carstairs Junction Primary School in South Lanarkshire.

She is also alleged to have dragged the same pupil back into her classroom by her leg on a separate occasion in September 2017.

And in November 2017, the primary school allegedly made the same pupil sit in a seat where the young girl had urinated on.

Miss Wadsworth is now being investigated over the claims and appeared in front of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) panel this week.

Pamela Dougall, a support teacher from the school, gave evidence at the hearing and said she was left in tears after witnessing the incident.

Mrs Dougall said: “I witnessed Miss Wadsworth dragging Pupil A back along the floor back to the classroom.

“Her [Pupil A] tummy was on the floor, she looked terrified.

“I put my hands on my head and said ‘you can’t do that’.

“I asked Pupil A if she was alright, she put her thumbs up as she is a non-verbal child.

“Pupil A has a mental age of roughly 18-24 months.

“I was in a state of shock, every time I saw Pupil A that day I cried.”

She added: “I was placed in her class between August and December 2017.

“The working relationship with Miss Wadsworth was difficult.

“I got the feeling that she did not want anyone in the class.

“When I was working with Miss Wadsworth I felt I couldn’t do my job properly as she didn’t trust me.”

Another support teacher, Jacqueline Steele who was working in a class nearby, said: “On Friday 1 December [2017] at 1pm I was sitting at a table helping kids finish their work they hadn’t finished and I was looking directly out of the classroom door.

“I saw Pupil A running past the door.

“Pupil A stopped at the double doors [fire exit].

“Mrs Wadsworth ran up and grabbed Pupil A’s arm in quite a forceful manner.

“Her tugging knocked Pupil A off her balance and she was walking too fast for her to keep up.

“I put my hands on my head.

“It was the first time I saw her look frightened.

“[When Mrs Steele entered Pupil A’s classroom] Pupil A was on the floor at the door, it was quite manic and Miss Wadsworth did not have any control of the class.

“For me it was a child protection issue.

“That afternoon Pupil A was not herself and was not smiling.

“You could see if she looked sad, I was able to tell when she wasn’t happy.”

Michelle Gold, a support teacher at Carstairs Junction Primary of 13 years gave evidence at the hearing of Rachel Wadsworth today.

Miss Gold told the GTCS panel: “I worked with the class before Miss Wadsworth.

“There were around seven children all with different but complex needs.

“The first week with Miss Wadsworth went well, she asked for the support staff’s guidance because we knew the children.

“I advised her to keep things simple and not to change many things.

“The children have a routine and don’t like change.

“The second week she changed things, she changed the seating arrangements.

“She wouldn’t take my advice…

“Pamela Dougall went out to get PA who had left the class.

“I heard Pamela Dougall saying you can’t do that.

“Miss Wadsworth stormed into the class.

“Pupil A came back into the class and put her arms around her neck.

“She was clinging onto me a lot…

“It was unusual for Pupil A to display this behaviour; she was normally smiley.

“She continued to be clinging for the rest of the day.

“I only found out what happened at the South Lanarkshire Council fact finding stage…

“At the school nativity Miss Wadsworth put on a DVD for the Pupil A and D to watch.

“I suggested that they go to room six as there was more adults in the room.

“I knew Pupil A wouldn’t pay attention…

“Pupil A swiped the cards from the floor.

“Miss Wadsworth shouted ‘no I just put those in order.’

“She then swiped them again.”

After the child tried to swipe the cards for a third time, Miss Gold said: “Mis Wadsworth grabbed both arms and pushed her back into her chair.

“Her head went back like she wasn’t expecting it.

“Miss Wadsworth said to me ‘Pupil A just scratched my face, did you see it?’

“Pupil A had wet herself and there was urine on her chair.

“I went to leave the class to get someone to help me.

“She told me that I wasn’t to go.

“She told me to wait until someone else arrived.

“Pupil A sat in soiled clothes for three and a half minutes.

“It was later confirmed this was not what management had said.”

Claire Rafferty, the legal representative for Miss Wadsworth, refuted these claims: “The process was that members of staff would radio the office and ask for assistance.”

Miss Gold conceded: “That is if we had a radio, we didn’t have them all the time.

“Now in the school every member of staff has a radio.”

When further examined on this point, Miss Gold was unable to remember a lot of the details brought up by Claire Rafferty stating that “it was a long time ago”.

The hearing continues.

Source: Daily Record

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