Lancaster teacher banned over pupil kiss and sexual texts

Our Lady's Catholic College in Lancaster.
Our Lady's Catholic College in Lancaster.

A teacher who admitted sending sexual texts and kissing a teenage pupil has been banned from the profession.

Aaron Greenwood, who was sacked from Our Lady’s Catholic College, Lancaster, kissed the sixth form pupil in a pub, a professional conduct panel was told.

He also stayed overnight with her at another pupil’s home and sent “grossly inappropriate” texts during 2010 and 2011, the panel heard.

The 30-year-old science teacher “abused his position of trust”, the hearing found.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership panel’s decision to impose an indefinite teaching ban, which can be reviewed after four years, was rubber-stamped by the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove.

It found Mr Greenwood’s actions amounted to “unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.”

Head Brendan Conboy told the panel Mr Greenwood had admitted bumping into the pupil in a pub in late 2010 and said she had sat on his knee and they kissed. He assured the head that no other physical contact had taken place.

Mr Greenwood received a written warning that his behaviour was “completely unacceptable.”

However, in June 2011 a member of staff told Mr Conboy a friend of the pupil was claiming she had stayed overnight with Mr Greenwood.

An internal investigation took place in April 2012, where Mr Greenwood also admitted exchanging numerous text messages with the pupil.

The panel, made up of teachers and members of the public, said he had not behaved in a “predatory” manner but found he had failed to realise the potential effect of his “immature” behaviour on the pupil.

Alan Meyrick, on behalf of Mr Gove, said Mr Greenwood was guilty of “abuse of his position of trust and a serious lack of professional judgement towards a vulnerable pupil.”

Mr Greenwood gave evidence on his own behalf and accepted the need for appropriate professional boundaries between teachers and pupils.

In a statement on the school’s website, Mr Conboy said: “Whilst the governors accepted that Mr Greenwood’s behavior had not been ‘predatory’, the safety and wellbeing of students at Our Lady’s is always of paramount importance. Mr Greenwood’s conduct had shown a serious lack of professional judgement and had been an abuse of his position of trust.”