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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:51 pm 
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Anyone else watch this? I would hope that NQT's get proper training and advice about how to avoid getting anywhere near this situation. Social media enables this to go on without anyone knowing but it seemed that lots of friends of the girls did know and did not go anything to try and stop it. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:02 pm 
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Missed this last night :( will have to view on catch-up ... from what I have read about this, very worrying indeed :shock:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:24 pm 
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It was an interesting programme. I hadn't realised that the teacher was well respected.

I realised afterwards that I knew four pupils who have relationships with their teachers, although I think all was after the student had left the school, so not quite the same. At least one couple are still together.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:28 am 
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What was the title please and I will look on catch up as well. Very topical as have just had all the year 6 parents talks on this. Thanks

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:56 am 
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This is not uncommon. Some examples - I just want to post this without comment from me for now:

When I was a teacher at one school, it was known that things had gone on with at least one very, very senior current teacher. He had eventually settled down with one former pupil. This teacher was hugely respected for his phenomenal teaching skills and for being a strong, supportive colleague. ... There were also stories about what went on with other staff.

There is a very well known selective school in London where, after many affairs over many years with pupils, a senior teacher eventually had to leave. Many pupils certainly knew. That teacher left quite recently. It is believed that part of the problem for the school was the legal and contractual distinction between a relationship with a pupil under 16 and a pupil over 16. The Unions may have protected the teacher as well. (That teacher would have been on an old style contract.)

One of my employer schools issued everyone with new contracts, explicitly ruling out any such relationship with any pupil, including for a period of time after their 18th birthday and for so many years after they had left that school aged 15 or 16. (That school does not have a Sixth Form.)

In each school I worked at, as staff we knew which girls were clearly after inappropriate relationships. Female staff hated them but felt awkward and powerless. Male staff were discreetly told to stay safe, never have one-to-one detention or to be alone in a room with these girls. In one school, even the Senior Pastoral Manager, a man, refused to ever see a girl except in the busy reception area, in full sight of the ladies in the front office and lots of passing traffic.

All sorts of things go on in schools - pretty much all schools - things most parents do not know. What are the Assistant Heads, Deputy Heads, Heads and Governors doing? And the Teachers' Unions?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:12 am 
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It was called Sexting Teacher on Channel 4 Tuesday night. I watched it with my dd's aged 13 and 15 as part of my ongoing educating on the dangers of social media. They were very surprised at the fact that there was no outcome at all for the girls but jail sentences and a ruined life for all three of the men profiled. For one, a hockey coach, it was just one encounter which resulted in a three year jail sentence and the end of any job with children and probably any good job at all for the rest of his life. The girls were certainly not passive victims and were boasting to their friends about the texts. Even though one man had been married for less than a year the girl did not mention his wife and certainly had no qualms about chasing him. Their friends thought it was a normal thing to pursue a male teacher and knew all about it but did not report it to anyone. It should be required watching for any male going into teaching. Social media enabled very detailed exchanges to take place under the noses of everyone. The 15 yr old and her teacher started sending private message on Twitter. She left her phone in a lesson and a another student found the message and reported them. She deleted the messages and thought they were safe. They both agreed to block their Twitter accounts and incredibly nothing was done so they simply moved onto texting. Had the school called in the police at this point all the messages could have been printed out and the full extent of the relationship could have been seen. It was only going to go one way from this point unless one of them was removed from the school which did not happen. Did the school inform the parents at this point or did they continue to have no idea until their dd ran away with him? They were staying in hotels together so her parents must have thought she was staying overnight at a friend's house. So that friend was involved. Another girl talks about being in a position of "power" over the teacher. They ran away but she wanted to come home after 18 months because she missed her parents. So they returned and he of course was arrested and jailed for 15 months even though they did not start a full relationship until she was 16. The men of course were the adults but other people knew and did nothing. It seems the school could have done much more to protect a minor in their care. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:14 am 
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Jean.Brodie wrote:
It is believed that part of the problem for the school was the legal and contractual distinction between a relationship with a pupil under 16 and a pupil over 16. The Unions may have protected the teacher as well. (That teacher would have been on an old style contract.)

The contractual situation cannot have had any bearing on this - no contract overrides the law of the land, and the S_exual Offences Act 2003 states quite clearly that any adult in a position of trust should not have a s_exual relationship with an under-18. (There is an exception for pre-existing relationships, but that is highly unlikely to apply within a school setting.)

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All sorts of things go on in schools - pretty much all schools - things most parents do not know. What are the Assistant Heads, Deputy Heads, Heads and Governors doing? And the Teachers' Unions?

Indeed, what is any adult who becomes aware of such an issue doing? We all have a whistle that we can blow, should we choose to ...


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:31 am 
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The member of staff that the student went to who found the phone full of private Twitter messages between a 15yr old student at the school and 32 year old teacher seems to have only insisted on Twitter blocking. The student then sent a friend to see the Teacher to get his mobile number and so the relationship continued on text. Was that protecting the minor in their care? Why wasn't the teacher suspended while the situation was investigated? Have education councils provided enough guidance to schools on this? It would seem very surprising if they had not? I have attended plenty of compulsory training on this issue. We even had compulsory training at our primary before we were allowed to go in and volunteer. DG


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:07 pm 
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I forgot to mention what happened at a well known London educational institution not that long ago. A woman teacher took a shine to a sixth form boy pupil. One late afternoon, someone walked in on them in her classroom and reported her. The Union got involved and the employer could not do much, apparently because of the boy's age.

I now also recall an instance of a young male teacher. A Year 9 girl found his mobile phone in his desk drawer and took photos of herself. She then reported him and told a story against him. He was treated as a criminal until key facts eventually emerged. The school's investigation finally cleared him but he, distraught, left that summer.

We cannot know the full details of these examples so we cannot really say much more. What I do know is that the school managers and leaders themselves hide behind their paperwork and, usually, none of them is disciplined or replaced. They just issue more paperwork and have more training sessions on INSET days, all in a desperate attempt to cover themselves even better against future trouble. They rarely address the root causes buried in the culture of schools, the mentality of staff and their leaders, the Unions, the home and school upbringing of pupils and the predilections of some individual adults in schools.

What did I witness myself working in schools? Only some inappropriate behaviour by some girls towards some male staff. I reported it and found that this behaviour was long established and well known. No action was taken against the girls.

What I discovered working in schools was that there are lots of different angles to this in the real world or real schools. I guess that's what I really wanted to share, beyond just my own shock and horror at events which receive widespread publicity or are sometimes dramatised on TV.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:34 pm 
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Jean.Brodie wrote:
I forgot to mention what happened at a well known London educational institution not that long ago. A woman teacher took a shine to a sixth form boy pupil. One late afternoon, someone walked in on them in her classroom and reported her. The Union got involved and the employer could not do much, apparently because of the boy's age.

If the boy was 16 or 17, the teacher should have been prosecuted. If he was over 18, it was professionally reprehensible but not illegal.

I often come across people who refer to the law regarding 16 - 18 year olds as a "grey area" because they confuse the age of consent with the age at which an individual is considered to be vulnerable under the S-exual Offences Act. There is absolutely no grey area whatsoever. Anyone who is over 18 and who begins a relationship with an under-18 year old for whom they hold a position of trust is breaking the law.


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