Page last updated at 17:19 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 18:19 UK

Head teacher 'force-fed children'

A nursery school head who force-fed children, dragged them along corridors and left them in soiled underwear has been banned from working as a teacher.

Patricia Ann Baynes had been working at the Bordesley Green East Nursery School in Birmingham.

The General Teaching Council ruled the head teacher was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct in the way she treated the three to four-year-olds.

It said she failed to take reasonable steps to ensure the pupils' welfare.

Some of the allegations dated back as far as the mid-1990s.

'Bullying and intimidating'

Giving the panel's decision, chairman Ralph Ullmann said the "force-feeding" of the pupils caused them "distress" and in some cases made them retch or even vomit.

The panel heard how Baynes would keep youngsters in their soiled underwear as a form of "behaviour management".

It also heard how in one case she allowed a pupil to be left sitting outside in cold weather "for long periods of time over several days".

Baynes, who was not present at the two-day hearing, was also accused of "bullying and intimidating" her staff, and making inappropriate comments about her colleagues' health conditions.

Mr Ullmann said that Baynes, "by her own admission a forceful character", had received glowing references from two former chairs of governors and led a "very good school".

'Pupil welfare'

However, he said her actions "potentially put very young pupils at risk" and were an abuse of her position of trust.

She will not be able to reapply to work as a teacher for three years.

Mr Ullmann added: "We have found it difficult to understand, particularly in relation to allegations directly concerning pupil welfare, how these matters were allowed to continue unreported for such a long time."

The panel dismissed allegations that Baynes had failed to maintain integrity in her financial administration or that she failed to ensure staff received appropriate child protection training.

Another allegation - that she failed to follow correct procedures for taking children out of school - was withdrawn.

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