October 2015

Teacher who groomed pupil given ban from classroom

teacher

A SCIENCE teacher who groomed a pupil for sex has been given a lifelong teaching ban.

Christopher Hird was the head of science at South Holderness Technology College until 2012, and also worked at Longcroft High School in Beverley

The 51-year-old, dubbed “Mr Perv” by pupils at the school, was accused of four counts of sexually assaulting pupils aged 11 to 16.

However, a disciplinary panel has now found him guilty of unacceptable conduct and banned him from the teaching profession indefinitely.

The hearing, held by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), heard that Mr Hird touched several different female pupils in a “sexually motivated” manner.

NCTL official Paul Heathcote said he agreed with the recommendation of the disciplinary panel that Mr Hird should be banned from teaching for life.

“Mr Hird’s behaviour continued over a considerable period of time and involved a number of different pupils,” he said.

“Mr Hird continued to deny the allegations throughout and has shown no insight into his behaviours and their effect on others.”

The former chemistry teacher did not attend the hearing but, in a written statement, he admitted to having been involved in a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old girl referred to, for legal reasons, as Pupil C.

The relationship lasted for more than a year, but Mr Hird claims the “relationship did not begin before she ceased being a student”.

In written evidence supplied to the hearing, Pupil C stated that she asked Mr Hird how they would stay in touch as she would not see him anymore after she left the school.

She claims that Mr Hird said “it doesn’t have to be like that” while patting her knee.

The pair exchanged personal mobile numbers and a few days later arranged to meet up where, according to her evidence, they “stopped somewhere to kiss passionately”.

The panel also found Mr Hird guilty of “sexually motivated” touching of two other girls, including on their thigh and on their cheek.

The panel found Mr Hird not guilty of almost a dozen other allegations of inappropriate touching due to a lack of evidence.

However, in evidence submitted to the panel, the headteacher of the college described the girls who made unproven allegations as “mature, hard-working … not likely [the] sort of characters who … attempted to make things up.”

Referring to the accusations of inappropriate touching, Mr Hird said he “refutes all allegations against him”.

Mr Heathcote concluded that Mr Hird’s conduct seriously affected the wellbeing of pupils.

“The underlying incidents giving rise to the allegations were not isolated and involved a number of pupils and events over a period of several years,” he said.

“Mr Hird’s conduct involved an abuse of his position or trust and his conduct involved a violation of the rights of pupils.”