TEACHER BANNED OVER PUPIL TEXTS

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A TEACHER at Kirk Hallam’s St John Houghton School who ‘abused his position of trust’ by sending flirtatious text messages and emails to a 15-year-old pupil has been banned from the classroom indefinitely

Transcripts of the messages sent by Nicholas Ranford – who was head of Religious Education at the school between 1 September 2007 and 11 February 2010 – were heard by the General Teaching Council (GTC) which took the decision to ban him.

They included:

- “…please remember that in saying what I’ve said to you I have put my career and my family at risk…”

- “…if I were single and not your teacher…”

- “This is a nasty adult game and I’ve no right to ask you to play it.”

- “…I can still see your face, still feel your hair on my fingers and your hands in mine.”

- “My wife is out tomorrow morning (about 8.30am-11.30am)…or text me early and I’ll meet you somewhere…”

- “…the image of you lying around in your pyjamas does lead to rather cuddly thoughts.”

Mr Ranford sent the messages to the girl between November 2009 and January 2011 and was slammed for his ‘complete disregard for his duty as a teacher’ at the inquiry this week.

Ruling that he is not fit to teach, the council said that his behaviour breached the standards of propriety expected of the teaching profession and was ‘wholly unacceptable’.

It said: “Mr Ranford’s submissions to the GTC show a stark lack of insight.

“Whilst he has made clear admissions he has dwelt at length about his own position to justify his actions, as opposed to recognising the potential, or actual consequences of his actions on the 15-year-old Year 11 pupil.

“From the beginning he showed a complete disregard for his duty as a teacher towards her.

“Again, his actions are compounded by reason of his senior leadership role and position as head of RE, integral to which was a pastoral role, in tandem with the school chaplain, and therefore he should have set an example to others and been particularly sensitive to child protection issues.”

The council’s findings concluded: “Mr Ranford’s serious lack of insight into his abuse of a position of trust means that it is not appropriate that he is allowed to continue teaching. It may be though, that the passage of time will enable him to mature and develop insight.”

Although the ban imposed on him is indefinite the GTC has left a door open for him to return to teaching.

They ruled that after five years he can apply to be restored to the teaching register but he was warned that any application would have to go before a full disciplinary panel who will decide whether he is suitable to be allowed to return to teaching.

A police spokesman said there would not be a police investigation because Mr Ranford had been dealt with by education disciplinary proceedings.