Monday, 1 February 2016

Teacher gets lifetime classroom ban over affair with student

A married teacher at a top private school has been banned from the classroom indefinitely for having an affair with one of his students.
John Boothby, 27, began the relationship with the teenage girl during the summer of 2014 while he was head of philosophy and religious studies at Canford School – a co-educational independent boarding school in Wimborne, Dorset.
The girl – who is not identified – told police the consensual relationship progressed from kissing to sex and included a night in a B&B during school half-term. She told police in July 2014: “It started about two months ago. It was consensual and not forced.”
The teenager explained they became close, they kissed, they gradually became more comfortable around each other and eventually “a sexual relationship did develop, but not that rapidly”.
She also told police she had “ended up in a B&B” with Boothby during half-term, where he had told her that he loved her. She added: “I told him I loved him a week later.”
Boothby, who had worked at Canford since September 2010, acknowledged the affair to school investigators. He said: “I was well aware at the time that the affair constituted a serious breach of school policies.”

Boothby faced a hearing of the National College for Teaching and Leadership’s professional conduct panel in which it was alleged he engaged in a sexual relationship with the student, identified only as Pupil A, while she attended the school.
The hearing heard that Boothby had admitted the facts of the allegation but had not expressly admitted they amount to unacceptable professional conduct. In written representations to the panel, he said: “I accept the central charge here. In engaging in a sexual relationship with Pupil A, I was entirely unprofessional, and fully deserve the termination of employment and procedures that have followed.
“My behaviour is something I hugely regret. It has caused more pain to my family and close friends than I would ever have wished to bring anyone, and was a huge breach of the standards that were, rightly, expected of me as a teacher.”
Boothby later confessed to his wife that he had been having an affair with a student. The panel found the allegation proven and said Boothby was guilty of unacceptable professional conduct and had brought the teaching profession into disrepute. It recommended that Boothby be banned from the classroom for life.
“The panel was of the view that Mr Boothby’s sexual misconduct was serious and had the potential to result in harm to Pupil A,” it said. “The panel was of the view that, while Mr Boothby was clearly remorseful about the events, he had not expressed sufficient insight into the role of a teacher and the importance of maintaining professional boundaries in order to prevent such a situation arising at all.
“He did not appear to appreciate the distinction between teachers being friendly towards pupils as opposed to being friends with them. The panel did not see any evidence that he was aware of the need to be able to control his own emotions when dealing with pupils. Further, the panel noted that Mr Boothby showed no insight into the potential impact of the affair on Pupil A.
“He regarded her as an adult on an equal standing as himself, rather than a pupil under his care. Given this lack of insight, the panel was not persuaded that Mr Boothby would not make this same mistake again in the future.”
A Department for Education official endorsed the panel’s findings.

No comments:

Post a Comment