Former Norfolk teacher banned after relationship of a ‘sexual nature’ with pupil, 12
- Credit: Archant
A Norfolk independent school says it did all it could to safeguard pupils despite providing a 'chronology of child protection concerns' about a former teacher who has now been banned from the classroom.
Nathan Waring has been banned from teaching by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) after incidents during his time at St Bede's Prep School, in Eastbourne, where he taught from 2004 to 2007, and Gresham's School, in Holt, from 2008 to 2015.
Gresham's former director of music, 37, began an 'inappropriate relationship' while at St Bede's, in which he sent texts of a sexual nature, attended a concert with a pupil, gave her shoulder massages, kissed her and touched her inappropriately, the NCTL found.
The NCTL, who said his behaviour was 'sexually motivated', said the pupil would have been 12 when it began and 13 at the 'height of the relationship'.
He moved to Gresham's in January 2008, but in February was temporarily suspended while the Eastbourne incidents were investigated.
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The allegations were later dropped and he returned to work, but was given rules on behaviour with pupils.
But, the report said, Mr Waring, who resigned in October 2015, texted a pupil in 2011 and again in 2015, and engaged in 'inappropriate and/or flirtatious behaviour' with them during a course.
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In 2015, he and other members of staff attended the pupil's birthday party. Though he was given a lift back to Gresham's, he drove his own car back to the pupil's party, and was found to be - and later convicted of - drink driving.
On two dates in September 2015, Mr Waring left school to meet the pupil - telling colleagues he was picking up dry cleaning and attending a meeting.
The NCTL panel, which held the hearing last month, said they reviewed a 'chronology of child protection concerns' from the school, dated June 2015, which showed it had emerged that Mr Waring had been texting pupils in 2011. A formal written warning is referred to in the report.
The report says, when staff and pupils stayed overnight at the boarding house on one occasion, a member of staff with concerns about the relationship stayed in the pupil's room to 'act as a chaperone'.
But a Gresham's school spokesperson said: 'We are satisfied that the school acted appropriately at all times and did everything we should have.'
A spokesperson for the NSPCC east of England said:
'Children should feel safe and protected at school and Waring's actions represent a shocking abuse of his position of trust.
'He showed no regard for the impact this would have on the pupils he should have been safeguarding and has rightly been banned from teaching as a result of his disturbing behaviour.
'Child protection is everyone's responsibility and it's vital that concerns about inappropriate relationships between adults in authority and young people in their care are reported immediately.'
'Lack of insight or remorse'
Dawn Dandy, on behalf of the education secretary, banned Mr Waring from the classroom indefinitely, saying she took into account his 'lack of insight or remorse' and the panel's finding that the behaviour was 'sexually motivated'.
The panel said Mr Waring claimed he was under a 'considerable amount of pressure', both in his professional and personal life.
It's not the first time a teacher's inappropriate behaviour has made headlines in Norfolk.
In 2006, Paul Reeve was employed as a PE teacher at the Hewett School after receiving a letter from the Department For Education acknowledging his claim that he did not 'intentionally access child pornography'.
It enabled him to get a job at the school, despite it knowing he was on the sex offender register and received a caution for accessing the pornography.
Also in 2006, Costessey High School deputy headteacher Stephen Brenchley was jailed for five years after five sexual offences against underage girls.