Teacher convicted of three sexual assaults fails in bid to lift teaching ban

A private music teacher's attempt to lift a temporary ban backfired

Alec Evans

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A music teacher who sexually assaulted pupils has failed in his attempt to lift a lifetime ban from teaching.

Duncan McTier taught the double bass at various locations including The Purcell School in Hertfordshire, a specialist music school that admits pupils aged 9 to 18.

Three years ago, he was accused and found guilty of three incidents of sexual assault against pupils or students dating back to the 1980s, for which he received a suspended three-month sentence and was put on the sex offenders’ register until 2021.

Last year, he appeared before a panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, which decided not to ban him from teaching. This was partly because, during the court case, the judge said that “this was not the most serious of incidents” and had noted Mr McTier's remorse. The pupils were all aged 17 or older.

But the then-education secretary Nicky Morgan stepped in, insisting that Mr McTier should be prohibited from teaching "indefinitely". She said the ban could be reviewed in 2021.

Mr McTier appealed to the High Court in February to have the ban lifted, and the case was referred back to the panel.

However, the panel then decided to ban him from teaching indefinitely, with no chance of appeal.

The panel said this was because his crimes "could affect the public confidence in the teaching profession given the influence that teachers may have on pupils, parents and others in the community".

The panel's decision says Mr McTier was guilty of a serious departure from the personal and professional conduct elements of the Teachers’ Standards; misconduct; abuse of position or trust; sexual misconduct, and the commission of a serious criminal offence.

The panel's decision-maker, Sinead O’Sullivan, concluded that "even taking into account the age of two of his victims, Mr McTier used his professional position to influence or exploit a person or persons".

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Alec Evans

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