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Wolverhampton teacher who bit balaclava-clad pupil during 'grapple' on bus is struck off

A teacher who bit a pupil during a 'grapple' on a bus while going home has been prohibited from teaching indefinitely.

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Farah Belkhelfa claimed she had acted in self-defence when trouble broke out on the last day of the spring term in 2022 at Ormiston SWB Academy in Bilston.

A Teaching Regulation Agency panel heard that the foreign language teacher boarded a bus on April 8 and ended up confronting a group of students, described as '10-15, if not more', who were "shouting extremely loudly at the back".

The panel heard: "She stated that this included students from the Academy who were shouting 'Hi Miss Belkhelfa!'. She stated that she was feeling extremely uncomfortable given the level of noise and the attention on her, and asked why they were shouting so much. She stated that a couple of seconds after, she could hear a [REDACTED] wearing a balaclava shouting expletives at her.

"She stated that it was difficult to ignore, as the large number of students and shouting came across as extremely intimidating, so she stood and told them that she could sanction silly and confrontational behaviour, even if it was outside school. Some of the students kept repeating that she could not do this as they 'did not wear the uniform'."

In a bid to identify one of the pupils, the 29-year-old then tried to remove a balaclava from one of the pupils, referred to as Child A, 'with force' which 'pulled Child A's head forward' and led to a "physical grapple" between the two.

A witness described footage of the incident as showing “almost a headlock of Miss Belkhelfa pushing and shoving the youth, and although [Child A] may not be seen as blameless, the videos showed an altercation with a number of students present".

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