A teacher who made sexual comments to students and propositioned colleagues using "graphic" language has been banned from the profession indefinitely.
Luke Snoswell, 34, was found by a professional conduct panel of the Teaching Regulation Agency to have made several inappropriate comments and actions towards pupils and staff.
During a lesson while he was working as head of physics at Wellington Academy in Wiltshire from April 2018 to July 2018, he described how a pupil was “assuming the position” while he leant over a table and thrusted at him to simulate sexual activity.
The pupil reported in oral evidence to the panel that this comment had made him feel “shocked” as he “did not expect a teacher to talk about sexual instances". Mr Snoswell denied this allegation but the panel found the pupil to be a “mature, articulate, credible and reliable” witness and found this allegation to be proven on the balance of probabilities.
In the same lesson, which was thought to have taken place around 23 May 2018, he stated: “I like my coffee like I like my men,” or words to that effect, and implied he had a sexual preference for “black” men. Mr Snoswell admitted this allegation.
Teacher told student: 'Why don't you just shag him?'
Mr Snoswell also encouraged one student to engage in sexual activity with another, saying “why don’t you just shag him and find out?", and referred to loss of virginity by putting his finger in his mouth to make a popping sound. Mr Snoswell denied he had made this comment, and claimed he had made a popping sound in the context of teaching a physics concept but the panel found a pupil’s evidence more credible. It found both these allegations to be proven.
In the same lesson, he used the phrase “up the bum”, or words to that effect. He also commented on the relationship between two students and hugged one or more students.
The panel also found that Mr Snoswell’s words and actions were of a sexual nature but did not find his actions to be sexually motivated, “whilst wholly inappropriate and misguided".
While employed at Fair Ways School in Hampshire from January 2015 to March 2018, Mr Snoswell also made several sexually inappropriate comments to other members of staff. On a staff night out in 2016, another teacher said Mr Snoswell told her “you look hot”, which made her feel uncomfortable, and made “increasingly sexualised and graphic comments” towards her, including that he wanted to “break her in half”.
The teacher was upset by the comments and said, “He made me feel as though I had done something wrong." She subsequently avoided work social events such as the Christmas party in order to avoid Mr Snoswell. Mr Snoswell said that the teacher and two other witnesses went out together frequently and that “I think it’s worth mentioning that I think these people have colluded” but the panel did not find his evidence credible, and found this allegation to be proven.
In June 2016, Mr Snoswell said to a colleague, “I could have bent you over and fucked you up the arse."
In a statement, Mr Snoswell reported that he said this in the context of a larger conversation between him and the colleague, “where sexualised and flirtatious comments were made backwards and forwards between both of us,” and that his comments were not made on school premises. The panel noted that he said he would not make such comments again and was very “regretful” of them.
The panel considered written evidence from the colleague, who said she did not want to get into an argument with Mr Snoswell on a night out but that she was “completely taken aback by this brash and totally perverse comment to a married woman from a married man”. The panel found this allegation to be proven.
Mr Snoswell admitted he sent WhatsApp messages to another colleague in November 2016, stating, “Think i just need to really get laid lol Tinder not doing me any favours,” and, “Wana get drunk with me and break some bed strings sometime." He said he had “misjudged” the situation and that such messages were “commonplace” as part of his friendship with the colleague. The woman reported that his messages to her made her feel “very awkward”. The panel saw screenshots of the messages and found this allegation to be proven. The panel found Mr Snoswell’s actions here to be sexually motivated.
It also found he had provided false information when applying for the role of head of physics at Wellington Academy, as he told the head of science he had been “fired” from his previous role for a single incident, when his dismissal had actually related to multiple incidents and individuals. He also claimed not to have been subject to disciplinary proceedings at Fair Ways School, which was untrue. The panel found that his actions lacked integrity and were dishonest.
Alan Meyrick, acting for the secretary of state, said the panel found that Mr Snoswell had demonstrated “extremely limited insight” about the impact of his actions on pupils and colleagues. He also placed considerable weight on the panel’s finding that one of the three colleagues Mr Snoswell had harassed said she would rather leave the school than continue working with him.
He decided that Mr Snoswell should be prohibited from teaching indefinitely, and that “in view of the seriousness of the allegations found proven against him”, he cannot apply for the ban to be lifted.
Mr Snoswell has the right to appeal the decision within 28 days of this decision.