Staffordshire teacher who attacked a colleague's car with a hammer spared classroom ban

A Cheslyn Hay teacher who attacked a female colleague’s car with a hammer while she was still sitting in it has been spared being struck off.

Cheslyn Hay Academy. Photo: Google
Cheslyn Hay Academy. Photo: Google

At a Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) disciplinary hearing Samuel John Woodhall, who was teaching at Cheslyn Hay Academy at the time, admitted smashing a rear side window, the heated rear screen and denting body work with the hammer. He also admitted that his behaviour amounted to unacceptable professional misconduct which could bring the teaching profession into disrepute.

Taking into account his admissions, glowing references he had received, the fact he apologised to the colleague, and a statement from him saying he loved teaching and that “it is my life and my passion” he was spared a ban.

TRA decision maker, Sarah Buxcey, ruled that in this case publication of the findings against him would serve as sufficient punishment.

The disciplinary hearing was told that the incident happened on 1 November 2019. Mr Woodhall taught at the school from September 2017 to December 2019.

The TRA findings say: “In November 2019 following an exchange of heated SMS messages and telephone discussions, Individual A attended Mr Woodhall’s home address.

“An argument occurred whereby Mr Woodhall picked up a hammer from his house, which had been left due to ongoing building works, and caused damage to Individual A’s vehicle, whilst she was still sitting in it.”

He later received a police caution for causing criminal damage. But the findings say: “Mr Woodhall has demonstrated remorse and insight into this incident. He has throughout the police investigation, school investigation and subsequent TRA proceedings acted honestly and has fully cooperated.

“The panel acknowledged that the teacher immediately admitted the offence and promptly complied with the conditions of the police caution and apologised to Individual A the day after the incident.”

In following the disciplinary panel’s recommendation that Mr Woodhall should not be banned the TRA decision maker said: “Given that the nature and severity of the behaviour were at the less serious end of the possible spectrum and, having considered the mitigating factors that were present, the panel determined that a recommendation for a prohibition order would not be appropriate in this case.”

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