Page last updated at 16:43 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Incompetent teacher is struck off

Susan Barnard
Susan Barnard is the first teacher in Scotland to be struck off

A primary school teacher has become the first in Scotland to be struck off the teaching register for professional incompetence.

Susan Barnard, from Perthshire, had already pleaded guilty at a hearing of the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) last month.

However, the council has now banned the 55-year-old from teaching at any school in the UK.

It means she will not be able to apply to rejoin the register for 12 months.

If she were to apply she would need to prove her teaching competence once again.

The case emerged after Ms Barnard was sacked by Perth and Kinross Council in 2006.

She had accepted not meeting professional standards, and admitted a string of shortcomings in her performance.

These included concerns over her treatment of pupils and colleagues as well as her general teaching competency.

'Dark time'

Between October 1999 and June 2001 she had a fixed term contract with the local authority to teach at Crieff primary school.

She then went on to teach at Coupar Angus primary before taking up a post at Comrie in 2005 after concerns about her abilities were expressed.

In 2006 she was eventually moved to Arngask primary but was sacked by Perth and Kinross Council after failing to engage pupils and improve her performance.

She also worked as a supply teacher with Stirling Council.

The case marks the first time the professional body has had to consider a case of competence against a teacher.

Ms Barnard was born in Manchester and qualified as a teacher in New Zealand during the 1970s but has been living in Scotland for the past 25 years.

James Thewliss, convener of the body's disciplinary sub-committee, said: "The sub-committee decided unanimously to direct the registrar to remove the respondent's name from the register."

In her defence, Ms Barnard apologised and said she had been going through a "dark time" during the period she was found to be incompetent.

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