A Fife school teacher has been formally reprimanded after acting aggressively towards one of his pupils, it has emerged.
Pavel Stroev, 39, a maths teacher at Woodmill High School in Dunfermline, has been censured by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) following allegations he had head butted an unruly teenage boy.
Mr Stroev admitted he “lost the plot” because of the boy’s behaviour but vehemently denied touching him, suggesting he had “moved sharply into the personal space” of the youngster and shouted in his face.
A three-person GTCS Fitness to Teach Panel has considered the case and concluded Mr Stroev’s conduct fell short of the standards expected of a registered teacher and placed a reprimand on his record for 18 months.
In its ruling, the panel said it had concluded Mr Stroev’s conduct had amounted to an “abuse of a position of trust” and had exposed the pupil, described as Pupil A in its report, to a risk of harm.
However, it said it was clear the teacher’s conduct was not part of a pattern of behaviour.
“The teacher had reflected on the incident, had taken steps to address issues and learn lessons from the incident,” the panel stated.
“The panel also accepted that the remorse which the teacher had shown was genuine.
“The panel reflected upon the fact that the public interest had been uppermost in its mind when it had made the finding of impairment. A reprimand was in the public interest.
“The panel concluded that a reprimand appropriately indicated to the profession and the public the gravity of the incident, the panel’s very careful consideration of the conduct and would therefore maintain public confidence in teachers, the teaching profession and GTCS as professional regulator.”
The panel heard how Mr Stroev had been going through a difficult period in his personal life at the time of the incident, March 9 2017, and was also suffering from flu.
Pupil A had been speaking during the lesson, prompting Mr Stroev to ask: “What do you not understand about the word ‘quiet’?”
To which the pupil replied: “Quiet.”
Mr Stroev then sent the pupil out of the classroom into the corridor and, frustrated by a lack of response, moved into his personal space and shouted “What is your problem?”
The pupil told the depute head teacher and other staff members he had been head butted, although he later stated the teacher had gone too close to him and they had touched foreheads.
Nearby classrooms had been interrupted by the disturbance and other teachers left their classes to intervene.
One colleague who spoke to the pupil afterwards observed a mark on the pupil’s forehead, describing it as “pushing/pressure mark” rather than a “strike mark”, while another reported Mr Stroev as behaving “extremely aggressively” towards the pupil.
Mr Stroev denied any physical contact had taken place and did not see any mark on Pupil A’s forehead, although he accepted he had tried to get a reaction from the pupil.
He accepted said Pupil A would have “felt scared and frightened” by what had happened, but maintained he did not intend to intimidate or subdue him.
In coming to its conclusion, the panel said it took into account a number of character witnesses attesting to the teacher’s good conduct.