A teacher, who was involved in a public row with Michael Gove over a Lewisham free school, has been banned from the classroom after allegedly striking a five-year-old pupil over the head and pushing him off his seat.
Kay Johnston, 59, also allowed a teaching assistant under her supervision to humiliate the boy by manhandling him and tying his shoelaces together, when she worked as a special needs supply teacher at East Wickham Primary Academy in Welling.
She has been struck off from teaching indefinitely following a National College for Teaching and Leadership panel hearing, last month.
Ms Johnston, from Hither Green, unsuccessfully applied to have her hearing held in private, citing “the potential for exaggerated press coverage emerging of the hearing.”
The boy, described as a vulnerable pupil by the panel, was part of a small class of children with “complex learning difficulties” within the infant department at the school in Wickham Street.
The NCTL panel said they were satisfied “on the balance of probabilities” that Ms Johnston did strike the pupil on January 29, 2014, after they saw CCTV images, which show the teacher “raise her hand” and move it towards the pupil, whose head and upper body jerks to the side.
The report reads: “We have carefully and repeatedly viewed the CCTV recording of the alleged 'push' and are satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Ms Johnston did push Pupil A off his chair thus causing him to fall to the floor at the relevant time.
“We note particularly that Ms Johnston is seen to lift his leg and tip the chair, causing him to fall to the floor.”
Two days later, teaching assistants, under Ms Johnston’s supervision, allegedly manhandled the pupil and left his shoelaces tied together for around two hours.
She denied being aware that they had been laced together, despite being alone with him for around 30 minutes.
The panel said: “We are satisfied that it is beyond belief that Ms Johnston was not aware that Pupil A's laces were tied up for that period and therefore reject Ms Johnston's evidence in this regard.”
The child was also “inappropriately excluded” from classroom activities.
A Met Police spokesperson said officers cautioned a 20-year-old woman for child cruelty over the incident involving the teaching assistants.
But Ms Johnston was not investigated by police.
In 2013, Ms Johnston accused the Department for Education and later the former education secretary Michael Gove of racism after her application for a free school in Lewisham was rejected four times.
She had hoped the school would help combat young Lewisham boys from drifting into crime by providing strong male role models.
The NCTL panel concluded: “Ms Johnston acted in a violent manner towards Pupil A and failed to prevent him from being adversely affected by the inappropriate actions of teaching assistants for a sustained period. She failed to protect Pupil A's dignity or safeguard his well-being.”
Ms Johnston can seek a review of the decision to ban her from teaching after four years or appeal to the High Court.
An East Wickham Primary Academy spokesperson said: "Ms Johnston has not been employed by East Wickham Primary Academy for two years.
"The safeguarding of our pupils is our primary focus and we take it very seriously.
"We are unable to comment on this incident any further at this time.”