Teacher banned for life after sending sexually motivated messages to former pupils

King Edward VI Upper School in Bury. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

King Edward VI Upper School in Bury. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

A headteacher has spoken of the importance of reporting inappropriate behaviour after a Suffolk teacher was banned from the profession for life for sending sexually-motivated messages to former pupils.

Ian Stuart, 36, was working as a short-term supply teacher at Broadlands Hall School in Haverhill when he allegedly sent inappropriate messages to pupils at his former employers, King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds.

The case has been considered at a professional conduct panel for the National College of Teaching and Leadership in Coventry.

It was alleged Stuart sent messages to one or more pupils in or around May 2017, and that one of the pupils was aged under 16.

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

He also allegedly said he would love to have them one on one, said them being drunk intrigued him and asked ‘how far they have gone with a guy’. He later asked them to delete his messages, sending them comments such as ‘maybe a good idea to get rid of our chat’ and ‘probably best to get rid of this one too.”

Stuart admitted the facts of the case saying that it was ‘a poorly judged moment of madness’.

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But the panel did not accept this explanation as the conversations took place over several days, adding his behaviour was exacerbated by using his private tutoring business as a means to contact the pupils.

Stuart was banned from teaching indefinitely and is not entitled to apply for restoration of eligibility.

Hazel Simmons, headteacher of Broadlands Hall School, said the case showed the importance of reporting incidents of inappropriate conduct.

She said : “Ian was a supply teacher here for a few weeks. His references were perfectly fine.

“However, while he was there for those few weeks he was contacting students at King Edward VI school.

“On hearing this, I suspended him from the premises instantly.

“Safeguarding in education is the most paramount element of what we do. Without safeguarding, everything else falls by the wayside. A lesson from this is if in doubt, report it.”

King Edward VI School were contacted for comment.

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