Ban for NQT who had sex with pupil

13th May 2011 at 01:00
GTC says she still poses a risk to children

A teacher who had sex with a pupil has been barred from the profession indefinitely.

Erin La Porte, who taught RE, had sex with "Pupil A" at her home during the summer holidays in 2007. A General Teaching Council for England (GTC) panel warned that she could pose a "significant risk of repeating the behaviour" and found her guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

She had previously been warned by colleagues about maintaining "appropriate professional boundaries" with the pupil, whose age and name have not been made public.

Ms La Porte, who did not attend the hearing, worked at Princes Risborough School, Buckinghamshire, from September 2006 to September 2007. She was a newly qualified teacher who had completed teaching practice at the school while training.

She confessed to Zettie Taylor, another teacher at the school, about the relationship with Pupil A while they were on holiday together in Vietnam in August 2007. Mrs Taylor told Ms La Porte to contact her union for advice. Mrs Taylor also reported the relationship to the school's head, Pete Rowe, on 31 August.

The incident was then referred to Buckinghamshire County Council, where education officers launched an investigation. This was carried out in early September 2007 by assistant head Wendy Mason. All those involved were interviewed and Ms La Porte was formally suspended. She was dismissed for gross misconduct on 18 September, 2007.

Ms La Porte admitted to Mrs Taylor, Mr Rowe and Mrs Mason having sex with the child at her home on 23 July 2007.

"Ms La Porte has not expressed regret or apologised for her actions in these proceedings," the GTC panel said. "We consider that Ms La Porte's conduct was deliberate in that it came after advice ... that she should maintain appropriate professional boundaries with Pupil A. Ms La Porte should have realised the implications of her actions for Pupil A, pupils in general, the school and the teaching profession."

"Engaging in sexual activity with Pupil A was entirely inappropriate and unprofessional and fundamentally breached the code of conduct and practice for registered reachers," the panel said.

"We are not satisfied that she has demonstrated sufficient insight into the serious implications of her relationship with Pupil A. Given the lack of insight demonstrated by Ms La Porte, the committee is not satisfied that she does not pose a significant risk of repeating the behaviour."

Ms La Porte can apply to re-register as a teacher in 2015.

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