Banned: Teacher who told ex-student ‘I love you’

Teacher’s church reported him after a parent raised alarm over 'inappropriate' social media chats with former student
1st February 2021, 5:00pm
Dave Speck

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Banned: Teacher who told ex-student ‘I love you’

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/banned-teacher-who-told-ex-student-i-love-you
Banned Teacher

A teacher has been banned from the classroom after "failing to maintain professional boundaries" with a former student, including telling her on social media that "he loved her" and "would go to the end of the world for her".

Richard Stanley, 49, was a humanities teacher at The Cooperative Academy, in Leeds, for 14 years where he taught the girl, who attended between 2011 and 2016.

Two years after she left, Mr Stanley began exchanging private messages with her on Instagram that "indicated a close relationship between them", a report by the Teaching Regulation Agency (TRA) found.

Teacher told former student he was jealous

The report states that Mr Stanley admitted all the allegations against him including that he "overstepped the line in respect of inappropriate language used in the messages", which he sent over approximately a three-month period between August and December 2018.

These messages included Mr Stanley:    

  • Calling her "hun". 
  • Commenting on her appearance.  
  • Asking her to rate her own appearance out of 10.  
  • Telling her he would go to the end of the world for her, or words to that effect. 
  • Telling her that he was jealous when she had spoken to another man.
  • Telling her about an occasion when he had kissed another woman.
  • Telling her he loved her and/or loved spending time with her.

Mr Stanley, who was also a volunteer Sunday school leader in church, admitted that he invited the student to visit him at the school after she had left and drove her home following the visit, the report states.

The relationship came to light after a parent of a friend of the girl contacted the church to raise concerns about the private messages.

The church referred the matter to the local authority designated officer (LADO), who conducted an investigation.

Mr Stanley was by then working at another school, Springwell Leeds Academy, where a disciplinary hearing took place and he resigned.

The report states: "Mr Stanley did have a previously good history as a long-serving teacher, including experience as a senior pastoral leader and as a teacher responsible for students that present challenging behaviours and circumstances."

However, the report notes that he had undertaken safeguarding training both as a teacher and for his role at the church.

It states: "As such, his conduct demonstrated that he did not have proper regard for the ethos and policies of the schools in which he taught. In particular, Mr Stanley admitted that he was safeguarding-trained and that his conduct sounded an 'alert' with him, based on the safeguarding training that he had received.

"The panel considered that Mr Stanley did show some remorse for his actions but that, to date, had taken no positive steps in order to avoid similar issues arising again, such as training and/or counselling."  

He can apply for the ban to be lifted in two years.

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