Wednesday 13 November 2019

Teacher asked pupils 'how far they'd gone with a guy' in 'sexually motivated' messages

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A teacher who sent sexually-motivated messages to former pupils has been banned from the profession indefinitely.

Ian Stuart, 36, was working at Broadlands Hall School in Haverhill, Suffolk, when he allegedly sent messages to pupils at the secondary school where he previously worked, King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

A professional conduct panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership considered the case at a hearing in Coventry.

It was alleged that Stuart sent inappropriate messages to one or more pupils of King Edward VI School, his former employer, in or around May 2017, and that one of the pupils was under the age of 16.

He had worked at King Edward VI School from 2013 to 2017.

His messages to girls allegedly included words to the effect that they were beautiful, appeared older than their age and could do better than their boyfriend.

He also said he would love to have them one on one, asked them "how far they have gone with a guy" and said that them being drunk intrigued him.

He asked them to delete his messages, with the panel shown screenshots reading "maybe a good idea to get rid of our chat" and "probably best to get rid of this one too".

Stuart admitted the facts, and that they amounted to unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.

The panel found proven that his conduct was sexually-motivated, and that it was dishonest in that he was attempting to conceal the fact he had been messaging pupils at his former school.

Stuart said his actions were "a poorly judged moment of madness".

The panel did not accept this explanation as the conversations persisted over several days.

The hearing was told that the headteacher of Broadlands Hall School had found Stuart to be "hard-working" and "enthusiastic, dependable and supportive".

The panel considered that Stuart's behaviour was exacerbated by using his private tutoring business as a means of contacting his former pupils.

Stuart was banned from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, youth accommodation or children's home in England.

He is not entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.

Decision-maker Alan Meyrick, on behalf of the Secretary of State, said: "In my judgment, the lack of insight means that there is some risk of the repetition of this behaviour and risks the future well-being of pupils."

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