A TEACHER who told a student “you’re so thick it’s a good job you’re pretty” has been banned from the classroom.
Paul Richardson, 29, allowed another girl to sit on his shoulders during a gym lesson, telling her: “Nice see through leggings you’ve got there.”
His vile behaviour in 2017 came to light the following year when he befriended a third girl, referred to only as Pupil C, while she was sitting her GCSEs.
After she left Woodham Academy in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, they went for a walk and held hands before he kissed her.
He also gave her a house key, kissed and cuddled her when she got upset at his home, and sent WhatsApp messages saying he loved her and wanted to marry her.
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A Teaching Regulation Agency hearing was told Mr Richardson did not dispute the allegations.
Mr Richardson was employed at the school from September 2016 in the position of Cover Supervisor to carry out teaching work.
In December 2017, concerns were raised about Mr Richardson’s conduct by four female pupils. He was suspended pending investigation.
But the investigation found no evidence of professional misconduct. A letter of management advice and guidance was provided to Mr Richardson.
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On 12 August 2018, Mr Richardson resigned. Two days later the school was informed that a complaint had been made to the police on August 12 in respect of Pupil C.
The TRA hearing was told during a gym class, he allowed Pupil A to sit on his shoulders, telling her: “Nice see through leggings you’ve got there .”
She later said: “This made me feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable.”
Another witness said: “Pupil A said she had sat on Mr Richardson’s shoulders. I asked her why Pupil A had done that as I felt it was inappropriate.
“Pupil A said she did not know why and that having thought about it, she was not happy that it happened.”
Another girl, Pupil B, told the school that Mr Richardson “came out to speak to me. I said something which I cannot remember, he replied ‘you’re so thick, it’s a good job you’re pretty.”
While Pupil B and a classmate were doing coursework during a GCSE PE lesson in an IT room. Mr Richardson entered the classroom.
Pupil B said: “Mr Richardson said ‘oh look what I found’ and he took a copy of my sims photo out of the back of his phone case, which could’ve been there for many days.
“I was shocked and didn’t really react, I just turned back to my computer.”
June 2018, Mr Richardson met up with Pupil C and invited her to go for a walk. They held hands and he kissed her.
Once while she was upset at his home, he cuddled and kissed her. He sent her messages saying he loved her.
Richardson also admitted to police he had given Pupil C a key to his house.
The panel noted that some of the allegations took place outside of the school setting and when Pupil C had left the school following her GCSE exams.
Pupil C described the incidents as “still very traumatic” and Pupil A and Pupil B did not want to relive the events that took place.
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The panel stated that Mr Richardson showed a lack of awareness for the seriousness of his conduct and the grave safeguarding issues involved.
John Knowles, for the Education Secretary, said the ban would be for at least ten years because the panel’s findings involved “sexually motivated conduct, the pattern of behaviour towards teenage female pupils, and the lack of either insight or remorse”.
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