School teacher who kissed a girl and told her he ‘loved her’ has been banned from classrooms for 10 years

The school teacher kissed a girl and told her he “loved her” and gave her a key to his house

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A school teacher who kissed a girl and told her he “loved her” has been banned from classrooms for 10 years.

Paul Richardson, a 29-year-old cover supervisor at Woodham Academy, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, gave the girl a house key and also allowed another pupil to sit on his shoulders.

A Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) hearing last month was told Mr Richardson, who was not represented and did not attend, did not dispute any of the allegations.

‘Nice see-through leggins you’ve got there’

He admitted allowing Pupil A to sit on his shoulders – with the girl later saying she did not know why, and how it made her feel unhappy that it had happened.

He also commented “nice see-through leggings you’ve got there”, or words to that effect, about Pupil A, the hearing was told.

The teacher carried a photo of a girl

The teacher also told a girl known as Pupil B “you’re so thick, it’s a good job you’re pretty”, or similar words.

He carried a photo of the girl in his phone case.

Woodham Academy, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. Picture: Google MapsWoodham Academy, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. Picture: Google Maps
Woodham Academy, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. Picture: Google Maps

He gave another girl a key to his home

The following year, he held the hand of a girl known as Pupil C during a walk and kissed her on the lips.

Mr Richardson also kissed and cuddled her when she got upset at his home – and admitted that he had given her a house key.

The teacher also agreed he had sent WhatsApp messages to Pupil C stating that he loved her.

But during a police interview, he stated: “There was never a sexual thing, more of a friendship, like I love ya, let me help you sort of thing.”

He also told police, alerted after a complaint to school, that he had told Pupil C that they could get married in the future.

What was the panel’s ruling?

The TRA panel found his behaviour was sexually motivated and that he had failed to maintain a professional pupil-teacher relationship, that he had shown no remorse and that he had little insight into the impact of his behaviour.

Mr Richardson had indicated he had no intention of returning to the profession but he was prohibited from teaching with a minimum review period of 10 years.

What is the TRA?

The TRA are responsible for the regulation of the teaching profession.

Including holding misconduct hearings and the maintenance of a record of teachers, trainee teachers and those who hold a teacher reference number.

The TRA “take action on receipt of allegations of serious teacher misconduct” as well as offering support to employers, schools and headteachers with safeguarding responsibilities.

On the government’s website it says: “We provide employers with access to teacher records so they can complete pre-recruitment checks to ensure that they are employing teachers who are not prohibited from teaching and who are appropriately qualified for their role.

“We act on behalf of the Secretary of State as the competent authority for teaching in England.

“This role includes the recognition of the professional status of appropriately-qualified teachers from outside England and the award of qualified teacher status (QTS).”

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