'Dog porn' and 'morning glory' chats land NQT with an 18-month ban

14th May 2010 at 01:00
Teacher admits to GTC he used sexual innuendo in conversation with pupils, despite prior warning over 'inappropriate' conduct

A teacher who had conversations with children about porn, prostitution and sex - despite having previously been warned about his "inappropriate" relationship with pupils - has been suspended from the profession for 18 months.

Sean Riordan pulled a female teenager around by her tie, told another her make-up "looked really good" and asked a third if someone was trying to "rip her clothes off".

He also insinuated that another girl had connections with a local red-light district.

In a General Teaching Council for England (GTC) hearing last week Mr Riordan admitted using sexual innuendo during conversations with children, including talking about "morning glory" and saying "we are going to do some tossing".

The GTC panel heard Mr Riordan often joined in "inappropriate" conversations between children, including one about "dog porn", during his time at Chamberlayne College for the Arts in Southampton between September and December 2008. He received a formal warning in November after telling a Year 10 pupil her eye shadow "looked really good".

In the December, when children were talking about a hole in a female pupil's trousers, he asked: "Who has been trying to rip your clothes off?" The maths teacher was completing his newly qualified year at the time.

The GTC panel found him guilty of unacceptable professional conduct. "We consider Mr Riordan's conduct to be serious and we have concluded that such conduct places at risk the reputation of the profession," it said. "Mr Riordan's language and actions towards pupils and his assault upon person A in 2006 was entirely unacceptable.

"In our judgment this was not an isolated incident. Mr Riordan was advised as to his conduct in October 2008 but continued to act inappropriately, as we have found, in December 2008. Mr Riordan shows little insight into the boundaries and conduct of his relationships with pupils."

Mr Riordan was suspended from teaching until December 31, 2011.

"Such an order marks our view as to the serious nature of these matters and the likely damage to the reputation of the profession," the panel said. "Furthermore it will give Mr Riordan a period of time to enable him to reflect on his actions and take appropriate steps should he decide to return to teaching."

In an unrelated matter, in 2006 the teacher had been convicted of assault after beating a woman. Mr Riordan was fined and given a conditional discharge for 12 months.

DOING THE DIRTY: Other sexual misdemeanours before the GTC

- Christopher Ogbe, of Bexleyheath School in Kent, indecently assaulted a female colleague on a school trip and was jailed for three years. The head of business studies received only a 12-month suspension when he appeared before the GTC in 2003 after his release from prison.

- Teacher Mark Goodwin, formerly of Moat House Primary, Coventry, acted as a prostitute's driver and let drug dealers operate. He was banned from teaching for three years in 2005 after being found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

- Clive Wheeler, who worked at Denbigh High in Luton, told the TV documentary Queer as Old Folk that he had had unprotected gay sex with numerous men he picked up in saunas and on the internet. Geography teacher Dr Wheeler, who was 58 and married at the time of the broadcast in July 2007, spoke about having unsafe sex and said he had six boyfriends at one time. The GTC strongly criticised him for a "cavalier approach to serious issues".

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