June 2016

Former primary school headteacher who kissed 14-year-old girl cautioned for indecent assault

A former primary school headteacher who indecently assaulted a teenage girl has been barred from the profession.

Edward Campbell, now 71, was head at St William of York RC Primary School in Great Lever, Bolton , for 16 years until March 2002.

It emerged at a hearing of the National College for Teaching and Leadership that he accepted a police caution in January last year for indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl in 2001.

An official complaint to police wasn’t made until 2014.

She was a former pupil at the school and was kissed three times by Campbell behind a stage after she visited before Christmas three years after she left.

The girl, who can’t be named for legal reasons, had made him a Christmas card.

A professional conduct panel of the NCTL heard he asked her ‘where the kiss was on the card’ then ‘kissed her twice on the lips and once on the cheek’. She ‘pulled away’ and he apologised for his behaviour.

She went on to tell her family and the school, leading to Campbell being suspended. He resigned in 2002. Police were notified at the time but her family didn’t make a formal complaint, the panel was told. Campbell was subsequently interviewed last year after the victim made a complaint, admitted an offence of indecent assault and agreed to be cautioned.

The panel was told that Campbell has worked as a supply teacher and as an invigilator since 2002, but there have been no further allegations of misconduct. He admitted the full facts of the case at the hearing and said he does not intend to work as a teacher again.

Campbell was ‘fully aware’ that the girl ‘had difficulties in relating to her peers and mixing with her fellow pupils’ and had ‘sought assistance from him’, the ruling said.

It went on: “In the panel’s view, Mr Campbell had clearly failed to uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of behaviour. He had failed to treat Pupil A with dignity and maintain proper boundaries. There was a clear disregard for safeguarding pupil A’s wellbeing.

“The panel is satisfied that the conduct of Mr Campbell fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession. In the circumstances the panel was satisfied that Mr Campbell’s actions also constituted conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.”

The panel banned him from teaching indefinitely, although he can apply for the prohibition order to be set aside from 2019.