Teacher struck off after sending ‘sexually motivated’ messages to pupil
A former teacher at a Bury St Edmunds school has been struck off after sending ‘sexually motivated’ messages to a pupil.
Ian Stuart, 36, made contact with at least one pupil at King Edward VI School in May last year, while working at Broadlands Hall School, in Little Wratting.
A professional conduct panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, which met on March 9 to investigate the case, heard that Stuart had previously taught the pupil when he worked at King Edward VI School between 2013 and 2017.
The panel was shown evidence of messages sent by Stuart to the pupil which ‘asked a number of inappropriate questions, and made a number of inappropriate comments’.
It heard that his messages to the pupil had said that they ‘appeared older than their age’, that they ‘could do better than their boyfriend’ and that he ‘would love to have them one on one’.
It also heard that Stuart had sent the messages over a period of several days and had asked the pupil to delete the conversations in what was alleged to be an attempt to hide the communication.
Mr Stuart admitted the allegations against him, stating that his actions were ‘a poorly judged moment of madness’.
The panel found that the tone and nature of the messages were ‘more likely than not, sexually motivated’.
It also concluded that Stuart, who had been referred to thelocal authority in 2009 for reasons relating to safeguarding, had behaved in a ‘dishonest’ manner in that he had attempted to conceal the fact he had made contact with the pupil.
In its report, the panel noted that his actions ‘fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession’ and were an ‘abuse of position or trust or violation of the rights of pupils’.
Alan Meyrick, who reached a decision on behalf of the Secretary of State, ordered that Stuart be banned from teaching indefinitely.
In his report published on Wednesday, Mr Meyrick said: “In my view it is necessary to impose a prohibition order in order to maintain public confidence in the profession.
“A published decision that is not backed up by full remorse or insight does not in my view satisfy the public interest requirement concerning public confidence in the profession.”
Stuart has a right to appeal the decision to within 28 days of being given notice of the order.
King Edward VI School was approached for comment.