A teacher who allegedly slapped a young boy was allowed straight back into the classroom after being given a verbal warning.

Auckland's Takanini School is now under investigation after the Ministry of Education was tipped off over concerns that teacher Ros Cooke was allowed to continue teaching .

A source told the Herald on Sunday staff were upset the principal Linda Kelly did not take further action - even though Cooke had been accused of inappropriate behaviour in the past.

But Minister of Education Anne Tolley said she had now been stood down and an independent investigation was pending.

"The Ministry is continuing to support the school principal and board with this issue."

Cooke said she had apologised for her conduct, and now felt she was the victim of a "witch-hunt".

"I had owned up immediately," she said. "I was trying to get him on-task. I honestly didn't hurt him. I just slapped his shoulder." She denied it was a "whack".

Cooke said children in the class had been "shocking" before the incident and she was trying to bring them under control. She felt the matter had been fully dealt with "a verbal warning and that's it" and she was allowed to return to the classroom.

Board of trustees chairman Charlie Sucich said he had just recently became aware of the allegation.

He had "made his feelings known to the principal" about the delay in him being briefed.

School management would meet the Ministry of Education over the matter once school returned from the holidays, he said.

Sucich said he had been told of another alleged incident before his time on the board. But he was yet to be fully briefed and so could not comment further about it.

He wanted the public to know that the matter was being taken seriously and he would do everything to ensure students were safe. "Whether we're a decile one or 10, children deserve the best treatment, no matter what school they're at." he said. "I would hate to think people think we turn a blind eye. That's not the case".

The Ministry of Education's manager of education, curriculum and performance for the northern region, Vivien Knowles, said the issue was being taken seriously.

She said there was a recent allegation "and another previous one as well" but would not specify how many allegations there were.