Teacher banned from classrooms after kissing pupil

Gavel and scales

Gavel and scales

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A 70-year-old retired teacher who returned to work to give career advice and mentor pupils has been banned from the country’s classrooms for making sexually motivated advances to a vulnerable girl pupil.

John Poole was working at St Aidans Church of England Technology College at Poulton le Fylde at the time. The girl was only identified as “Pupil A.”

Poole was found guilty by a disciplinary panel of “unacceptable professional behaviour” after admitting that he exchanged personal phone numbers with the girl; arranged to meet her at coffee shops in the Lancashire area; kissed her on the occasion of his last meeting with her and tried to hold her hand.

The National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) disciplinary panel who heard the case in Coventry found that Poole’s conduct in respect of the latter two allegations was “sexually motivated.”

In a decision taken on behalf of Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, Poole was banned from the country’s classrooms. But the way was paved for him to seek to have the ban lifted in two years time, though to do so he would have to satisfy another disciplinary panel that he was fit to return to the classroom.

The NCTL panel said that Poole had recognised the inappropriateness of his conduct.

And in ruling that he could seek to have the ban lifted in two years time it said: “The panel was also prepared to accept that his admissions, his immediate resignation, the concern expressed for both the welfare of the pupil and the reputation of the school, and his acceptance that his conduct amounted to a gross lapse of judgment represented an appropriate level of insight and remorse which was genuine.”

Imposing the ban NCTL deputy director said: “This case concerns behaviour by Mr Poole which was wholly inappropriate and which continued over a number of months.

“In acting in the way that he did, Mr Poole failed: to demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct; to observe proper boundaries appropriate to his position as a teacher; and to have regard for the need to safeguard Pupil A’s wellbeing particularly bearing in mind the vulnerability of Pupil A.”

Poole has the right to appeal to the High Court against the findings.