A teacher who exchanged sexually explicit text messages with one of his pupils before having sex with her on multiple occasions shortly after her final exam at the school has been banned from teaching for life.
Economics teacher Howard Britton was working at the independent Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate in York when the inappropriate relationship with a sixth-former he was coaching at the time began.
Dr Britton admitted the majority of the allegations – but he insisted that his communication with the girl had not been “sexually motivated”, according to a report by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
The 64-year-old told a professional conduct panel that he had only replied to flirtatious text messages from the pupil at the school with similar content in order “to frighten her off”.
Dr Britton indicated throughout the hearing that he had been acting under duress as he felt trapped by pupil’s actions – but the panel did not accept this explanation.
Teacher had sex with pupil at his house
It found him guilty of “unacceptable professional conduct” over his actions, which took place between January and July in 2005 when was a teacher at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate – which now charges more than £37,000 a year for domestic sixth-formers who board at the school.
During one-to-one coaching sessions at the school, Dr Britton on one or more occasions touched the pupil's legs and allowed her to touch his legs, the report states.
And on the day of her final exam at the school, Dr Britton kissed the pupil in his house. He then had sex with her in his house on at least three occasions in the weeks after her final exam at the school.
The panel noted that Dr Britton did have a “previously good history” – but it found that he lacked insight or remorse.
He “failed to understand that the relationship between them was not one of equals”, it said.
Dr Britton, however, told the panel that he left the prestigious independent school in August 2005 “due to his disgust with his own behaviour”.
The decision-maker, Dawn Dandy, who acts on behalf of the education secretary, backed the panel's recommendation that “the conduct of Mr Britton fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession. “
She said: “The findings of misconduct are particularly serious as they include a finding of sexual misconduct.”
He was banned from teaching indefinitely and will not be entitled to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.