A teacher who was caught on CCTV assaulting a “vulnerable” pupil at a special school has been banned from the profession.

Sarah Clements, 35, taught at Westfield School in Bourne End, which caters for children aged between 5 and 11 years who are experiencing social, emotional and mental health difficulties, since September 2008.

She faced a disciplinary panel by the National College for Teaching and Leadership on April 18 accused of physically assaulting a pupil on March 24 and 25, 2015.

The panel heard how on March 24, Miss Clements grabbed a pupil around the arm and engaged in a “physical struggle” with the child.

On or around March 25, she again grabbed the pupil’s arm, pulling him towards her or her desk, forced him outside the classroom and said “shut up, you deserve them” when he complained that she had hurt him.

Once the head teacher at the school, on Highfield Road, had been made aware of the assault by another member of staff, they viewed the school’s CCTV footage of the events and Miss Clements was suspended.

According to the head teacher, the pupil appeared “visibly distressed” in the CCTV footage and was crying.

Miss Clements accepted a police caution for assault on September 24, 2015, in relation to the incidents.

Westfield School also carried out its own investigation and held a disciplinary hearing on January 15 last year, where she was dismissed.

The panel found the allegations to be proven and said that Miss Clements’ conduct fell “significantly short of the standards expected of the profession”.

While evidence suggested that the pupil did “exhibit some challenging behaviour” the panel said that he did not appear to be doing anything “exceptionally challenging” at the time of the assault.

The panel’s report, which was published on May 12, said: “The panel considers that parents should be able to feel that their child is safe and secure within the school setting, and that Miss Clements’ conduct contravened this public expectation.

“The panel therefore finds that Miss Clements’ actions constitute conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.”

They also found that she had shown “very little insight” into the seriousness of the allegations at the time and failed to follow the “extensive” training she had been given as well as failing to report the incident to her line manager.

Miss Clements was banned from teaching in any school, college or children’s home indefinitely.