If credible reports are anything to go by, a headteacher who struck a 6-year-old autistic student in the playground on Nov. 22, 2018, for breaking her bracelet has not been ousted by the system as yet.

Rhian Welsh’s inhuman act against the child with special needs was witnessed by her colleagues who only chose to watch on. However, she was soon charged with assault in August 2019, and was found guilty of the same by a Teaching Regulation Agency that led to her being handed over a year-long community order. The 50-year old's suspension came through on Jan. 8 2019 and was eventually dismissed on Sept. 11, 2019, as reported by Halesowen News.

The order was rolled out after the agency heard how she attacked the child with a tight slap on the shoulder during a “spur of the moment, volatile and fast-moving situation”. The senior academician was dismissed by Tenterfield's Primary Academy in Halesowen, West Midlands, but the panel agreed to let Welsh continue her practice as a teacher owing to her “exceptional contribution to the profession”.

“The panel finds that the conduct of Mrs. Welsh fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession,” said Paul Hawkins, Chair of the panel. “Given Mrs. Welsh’s insight into her conduct, her deep reflections, true remorse, and noting that this was an isolated, fast-moving incident, involving an exceptionally challenging pupil, the panel did not consider there to be an ongoing risk.

"There was no evidence to suggest pupils or anyone else would require protection in future from Mrs. Welsh as a result of this one-off and momentary incident,” he added. Soon after, the boy began throwing plastic rings at a glass door and he also broke Welsh's beaded reiki bracelet, which triggered her to hit him on the shoulder. The act however cost her a 12-month community order, 80 hours of unpaid work, and payment of £1,000 ($1410) in court costs. Welsh tried to overturn the order, but her plea was dismissed in 2019.

Much to the shock of others, an anonymous reference read out at the hearing stressed how Welsh was a great addition to the system. “Rhian was a trailblazer in education… I truly believe that it would be a huge loss to education if Rhian was not able to continue enriching the lives of many more children,” stated the reading. It is believed that physically hurting the child was the last resort, as the child continually dismissed Welsh’s orders to show throwing chairs and cushions around a room.

According to Daily Star, the child was unusually unruly on the day of the attack. Welsh allegedly then led the boy to the playground where her colleague was punched after they tried to put his coat on. The headteacher was previously similarly hit by the same child.

At the panel last month, Hawkins suggested that while Welsh was in the wrong, it wasn’t entirely right for the panel to ban her from the profession. “We did not consider Mrs. Welsh’s actions to be deliberate, calculated or pre-planned; rather, she found herself in a volatile and fast-moving situation and made a split-second decision which many others may also have taken in that moment. Mrs. Welsh did not seek to excuse her actions and she readily accepted full responsibility.

"She explained the context of the incident and clearly reflected at great length as to how she might have acted differently.” He further added, “The panel was of the view that Mrs. Welsh had made an exceptional contribution to the schools and communities in which she served, her pupils and the profession.”

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