PE teacher, 56, banned from profession after smacking four-year-old on knees when he threw tantrum

PE teacher, 56, is banned from profession after smacking four-year-old boy on the knees when he threw tantrum

  • Ian Webber, 56, struck the boy during an after-school football club in May 2018
  • Panel heard Webber had told child not to pull post-it notes off an ideas display
  • Teacher found guilty of ‘assault by beating’ by Birmingham magistrates in 2019
  • He has now been banned from teaching for life following a misconduct hearing

A PE teacher has been banned from the profession after smacking a four-year-old boy on the knees when he threw a tantrum. 

Ian Webber, 56, struck the youngster during an after-school football club after carrying him across a sports hall by the shoulders in May 2018.

He warned the boy: ‘If you kick me again, I’ll smack you’, before slapping him twice on the knees at a school in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands.

Earlier this month, a Teaching Regulation Agency panel heard the attack happened after Webber told the boy not to pull post-it notes off an ideas display.

Ian Webber (pictured above), 56, struck the four-year-old boy during an after-school football club after carrying him across a sports hall by the shoulders in May 2018

The teacher, of Polesworth, Warwickshire, denied assaulting the boy by beating but was found guilty at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court in February 2019.

He has now been banned from the teaching profession for life after a misconduct hearing ruled his actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct.

Webber had been issued with a warning prior to assaulting the boy after flicking a child’s throat in 2016 but his ‘conduct towards young children had become worse’

The panel chairman, Alan Meyrick, ruled: ‘His conduct involved inappropriate physical contact with a very young nursery aged child.

‘It involved repeated slapping of a four-year-old child on the knees in response to his behaviour at an after school football practice.

‘Furthermore, the conduct took place in the context of an earlier written warning at the same school (in 2016) following previous inappropriate physical contact by Mr Webber towards another child.

‘In light of the panel’s findings against Mr Webber… there was a strong public interest consideration in respect of the protection of pupils.

‘The panel was of the view that prohibition was both proportionate and appropriate. Mr Webber’s glaring lack of remorse concerning what he did and clear lack of insight into its effect was a significant factor in forming that opinion.

Webber has now been banned from the teaching profession for life after a misconduct hearing ruled his actions amounted to unacceptable professional conduct

‘Despite the findings of the criminal court, at which he denied any wrongdoing, he maintained his denials before this panel.’

During his trial, the teacher of 16 years claimed he never hit the boy and a slapping sound heard by witnesses may have been him giving the boy a ‘high five.’

But District Judge David Robinson found Webber guilty of ‘assault by beating’ after saying the evidence of the victim and three other boys was ‘clear and plausible’.

The court heard how the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Webber smacked him ‘very hard’ on the legs because he was ‘being naughty’.

Webber was handed a conditional discharge, ordered to pay court costs of £850 and a victim surcharge of £20.

At the time, Judge Robinson said: ‘Mr Webber I take into account that you were dealing with a difficult situation. 

The teacher, of Polesworth, Warwickshire, denied assaulting the boy by beating but was found guilty at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court (pictured above) in February 2019

‘You were doing the right thing until you did wrong. You were the adult and he was the child. You responded to being kicked and punched. This was an isolated offence in a long teaching career.

‘You have made an outstanding contribution as a PE teacher. This is likely to have a significant impact on your future. I found the evidence of the four boys clear and plausible. I believe the boys. 

‘I’m sure he is guilty of the two slaps alleged and I’m sure a conditional discharge is appropriate.’

After the case pupils and parents raised more than £6,000 in support of Webber to help cover his court costs.

The ban is indefinite and applies to all schools, sixth-form colleges youth accommodation and children’s homes in England.


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