Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury: Teacher banned after inappropriate touching of pupils in West Suffolk school

10:44 31 January 2014

Teacher 'struck off' for touching pupils inappropriately and watching porn in school

Teacher 'struck off' for touching pupils inappropriately and watching porn in school

Archant

A Suffolk teacher and head of department has been banned from the profession after touching pupils inappropriately.

A prohibition order has been issued for David Heap, 57, former head of science at Westley Middle School outside Bury St Edmunds, where he had taught for 26 years.

A professional conduct panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership found five allegations against Mr Heap were proven including that he touched three pupils inappropriately, kept pornographic DVDs and magazines in school, and watched pornography DVDs on a school computer.

Mr Heap, who chose not to attend the hearing, denied the allegations of touching pupils inappropriately.

The first incident was reported around December 10, 2010 by a teacher at the school who said she walked into a classroom to find Mr Heap sitting at his desk surrounded by pupils; with his right hand between the legs of a male pupil and the palm of his hand resting on the pupil’s inner thigh.

The school reported what happened to Suffolk County Council and informed the pupil’s parents before holding a strategy meeting.

On January 4, 2011 the headteacher of Westley Middle School issued Mr Heap with a management instruction with stipulations including that he never meet one to one with a pupil in a closed room or allow any pupils in the prep room or science office.

However on November 24 of that year a teaching assistant witnessed Mr Heap openly stroking another male pupil on the head “in an affectionate way”.

On December 6 a different teaching assistant reported to the headteacher that she had witnessed Mr Heap rubbing the back of the head of a Year 5 male pupil, as well as rubbing his arm and the inside of his right upper leg.

Again Suffolk County Council was contacted and at a meeting the next day it was agreed that Suffolk Police would interview the Year 5 pupil, who confirmed that Mr Heap had made contact with him on a number of occasions. Mr Heap was also suspended on advice from Suffolk County Council.

Following his suspension two adult pornographic DVDs and seven adult pornographic magazines were found in Mr Heap’s office. Investigations found that the DVDs had been viewed on school equipment, however always during periods when Mr Heap had no contact with pupils.

The panel concluded that Mr Heap’s behaviour amounted to, “unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.”

However they said there was not enough evidence to conclude an offence of sexual activity was committed.

Mr Heap has been prohibited from teaching indefinitely with no entitlement to apply for eligibility in the future.

Last night the headteacher of Westley Middle School, Nick Templeton, said: “Mr Heap has not worked at the school since December 2012. I followed all the procedures from the local authority and everything I had to do, I did.”

Suffolk Police have confirmed that an incident was reported to them in December 2011.

A spokesperson said: “The matter was fully investigated by officers and all parties spoken to. No arrests were made and the matter was referred back to the school in question.”

Drug-driver banned

A van driver caught using a mobile phone on the A12 while more than four times the drug-driving limit has been accused of showing “a complete disregard for the law”.

Chelmsford Crown Court

A Witham woman who stole more than £20,000 in National Lottery scratch cards from the garage where she worked and claimed the winnings has been spared prison.

The original facade of the Electric Palace cinema at Harwich.

One of the UK’s oldest purpose-built cinemas is set to receive a new lease of life thanks to a £700,000 grant.

Adriano Guedes. Photo credit: BBC Look East/PA Wire

A man who was evicted from his hospital bed by court order said he did not want to stay and had made efforts to leave.

Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles.

Passengers believe that Greater Anglia’s rail services improved in most areas during 2016 according to a new survey by official watchdog Passenger Focus.

Police are investigating the theft of a mobility scooter

The theft of a mobility scooter from outside the home of a disabled Colchester man has been condemned as “callous” by police.

A computer generated image of how Sizewell C will look

A leading heritage charity says the current proposals for the Sizewell C nuclear power station “threaten environmental damage on an unprecedented scale” in east Suffolk.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24