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Teacher banned for using sexualised and insulting language to pupils

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28 Feb 2017

An English teacher who told pupils to “show the chief examiner your cleavage” has been banned from teaching for at least four years


Rob Myers used sexualised and insulting language to students at The Wensleydale School and Sixth Form, in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, a professional conduct panel found.

Mr Myers, 57, referred to “10 naked virgins” when discussing attendance, told pupils that wearing low-cut tops was “teasing” him and compared one student’s work to “soft porn”, the panel heard.

The panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, sitting in Coventry, heard that he told pupils to call him “Rob” or “Baldy”, chatted to them about personal relationships, and shared emails with one teenager about a night out in Newcastle.

He touched three different pupils on their hands or arms and took some to the cinema to see Macbeth without the knowledge or approval of the school.

Pupils complained that his behaviour made them feel “uncomfortable and disgusted”, with one telling the panel she became demotivated to the extent that she considered abandoning her studies.

Mr Myers denied a number of the allegations against him but the panel found all were proven.

He said he had not told pupils to “show the chief examiner your cleavage” or said “don’t come to the next lesson with low cut tops on as you’re teasing me”.

He also denied an allegation that, after reading one pupil’s work for a textual adaptation task, he said: “This is like soft porn, are you trying to get me off? It’s really good.”

He admitted using inappropriate language while discussing attendance with students in December 2015 and making reference to “10 naked virgins” on his drive.

Challenged by pupils about some of his comments, the panel heard that Mr Myers said: “I am only a man, you can’t blame me,” and accused the students of having “dirty minds”.

Pupils said his discussions about his and their personal relationships – including talking about the dates he was going on – were of such a frequency and length that they interrupted lessons and distracted pupils from their work.

On one occasion, he told a pupil she needed a “fella to sort her out”, the panel revealed.

The panel found that he displayed unacceptable professional conduct and brought the profession into disrepute, and “displayed conduct which is fundamentally incompatible with being a teacher”.

It said: “The unacceptable professional conduct displayed by Mr Myers was repeated over several months and in a number of different contexts.

“The panel found that Mr Myers’ conduct involved the use of sexualised and insulting language to and about pupils, inappropriate discussions with pupils about personal relationships, inappropriate physical contact and a failure to follow school procedures in relation to trips.

“The panel also found that Mr Myers’ unacceptable professional conduct had a negative impact on the education and well-being of pupils.

“Given these findings, there is a strong public interest consideration in respect of the protection of pupils.”

A decision-maker for Education Secretary Justine Greening agreed with the panel’s recommendation that Mr Myers should be banned from teaching indefinitely, with an extended review period of four years to allow him to “reflect on his conduct”.

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