Ban for 'wholly excessive' contact with 'infatuated' pupil

25th June 2010 at 01:00
Science teacher called or texted teenage girl up to ten times a day

A teacher who called and texted a pupil who was "infatuated" with him almost ten times a day has been banned from the profession.

Abid Khan gave the child his mobile phone number - even though he had reported "concerns" about the 15-year-old to his colleagues.

A General Teaching Council for England (GTC) hearing also found Mr Khan created a false website and email address so he could send a fake reference when applying for a new job.

He also lied about his sickness record in order to secure the post.

Mr Khan would call the girl on average three times a day and would also text her regularly. Some of the telephone calls took place late in the evening and would last longer than an hour. His contact with her, which lasted for two years, only stopped when the police became involved.

The teacher, then calling himself Abid Suleman, completed his PGCE in June 2004 and worked as a science teacher at Challenge College in Bradford. Two years later he joined Rhodesway School and Visual Arts College, also in the city.

He was in contact with the girl, who was a pupil at Challenge College, throughout his time at the two schools. This led to disciplinary proceedings and he was given a final written warning in July 2007. He was off work regularly between then and July 2008.

Mr Khan resigned in July 2009 and applied for a post at Leeds City College, using the "misleading" information.

"While Mr Khan said that he accepted that he had made an error of judgment, he also accepted that he looked on the pupil as a friend and that much of the contact came in the period following his father's death," said Liz Carter, who chaired the disciplinary hearing. "The committee considered that the level of contact was wholly excessive and was potentially harmful to the pupil."

Mr Khan faked a reference from Anthony Proctor, who was head of science at Rhodesway. He was asked for this reference on July 6, 2009. On the same day he created the internet domain name "rhodesway-school.com", registering it at his home address in Bradford.

The following day Mr Khan phoned Leeds City College to provide an email address for Mr Proctor, but this was a fake he had created. On July 9 the college emailed the address asking for a reference and one purportedly from Mr Proctor arrived the next day.

The real Mr Proctor phoned the college on July 13 saying he had not been sent a request for a reference, and had not written one.

Ms Carter said she was concerned about Mr Khan's "attitudinal problems" and that there was a risk he could behave in the same way again.

"There was evidence of the inappropriate contact with the pupil extending over a lengthy period and Mr Khan knew, through his training, that this was inappropriate," she said.

"The committee had also found Mr Khan to be dishonest and had set on a course of conduct which was designed to deliberately deceive and mislead a potential employer in order to gain employment."

Mr Khan's prohibition order lasts for two years.

FURTHER PHONE FAUX PAS

This is not the first time a phone has landed a teacher in trouble.

History teacher David Walker used the internet and his mobile phone to organise street battles between rival football fans. Mr Walker, who was head of Year 11 at Turves Green technology college in Birmingham, was jailed for more than two years.

Philip Searson sent up to 12 texts a day to fellow teachers Helen Fores and Julie Hemsley but was cleared of unacceptable professional conduct. The deputy head denied harassing the women, who taught at William Lilley School in Stapleford, Nottingham. He referred to himself in some texts as "your favourite deputy" and to the teachers as "you naughty girl". But Mr Searson said he never intended any of his text messages to be "over familiar".

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