A TEACHER who forced toast into the mouth of an autistic boy - and held another on the floor while attempting to brush his teeth - has been struck off for six months.

Alison Mackie, who taught at Chatelherault Primary School in South Lanarkshire, was pregnant at the time and experiencing personal problems - but the General Teaching Council said that, even taking this into account, her actions were "extremely serious" and said removing her from the teaching register was its only option.

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Mackie, who is no longer at the school and is currently working in a specialist community support team, had shown no remorse or regret for her behaviour, the professional watchdog said.

The incidents, which took place in 2015, were witnessed by shocked fellow teachers and teaching assistants, who corroborated each other's accounts.

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Mackie was also found guilty of failing to comfort a pupil who was distressed, allowing him to bang his head on the floor or beat himself with his fists - and she instructed support staff to do the same.

The panel said: "The teacher was in the habit of using phrases like 'tough love' and 'the world doesn't revolve around him', when speaking about pupils," and said the allegations involved harm to very vulnerable pupils whilst in the teacher's care, adding: "The misconduct occurred over a number of months and amounted to a pattern of misbehaviour."

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