Trainee Great Yarmouth High teacher Oscar Gibbon, who kissed and held hands with schoolgirl on Colchester Zoo date, is barred from profession

Great Yarmouth High School.
Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth High School. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

A trainee teacher who chatted to a 16-year-old schoolgirl on Facebook and took her on a date to the zoo has been barred from the profession.

Oscar Gibbon, 24, was seen holding hands with the teenager and kissing her while they strolled around Colchester Zoo on August 8 2016, a National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) panel heard.

Gibbon had given the year 11 pupil 'lingering looks' while he taught her at Great Yarmouth High months earlier, the panel was told.

He was warned not to contact her when staff heard rumours they had started a relationship in January 2016. But he sent her romantic messages on Facebook after she sat her GCSEs and left the school five months later.

Gibbon was suspended and charged with disciplinary breaches when an ex member of staff saw the pair in Colchester Zoo and alerted the school. The panel barred him from the profession after he admitted having an inappropriate relationship with the girl.

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Panel chairman John Matharu said concerns were raised about Gibbon's behaviour with female students three times after he joined the school on the Teach First training programme in September 2015.

Mr Matharu said after the first incident in November 2015 he was given advice about safety and appropriateness. He continued: 'In January 2016, further concerns were raised in relation to rumours that Mr Gibbon was having a relationship with Pupil A.'

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He said Gibbon was given a booklet about safe working practices and advised to not communicate with Pupil A.

'On July 26, following allegations from a member of staff that there had been 'lingering looks' between Mr Gibbon and Pupil A, Mr Gibbon was provided with a letter of advice from the school.'

The hearing was told Gibbon told the girl he missed her on Facebook one month after she left the school. Mr Matharu said that on August 18, the school was told via email about the trip to Colchester Zoo.

'Mr Gibbon admits when Pupil A left school they had developed a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship and had kissed and held hands.'

The NCTL said Gibbon's behaviour was 'unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute'.

He was barred from teaching in England and cannot apply to overturn the prohibition order until 2019.

A spokesperson from Great Yarmouth High School said: 'Our school places the welfare and care of its students at the heart of everything we do and we have very clear safeguarding policies in place.

'Oscar Gibbon worked at the school before our current Leadership Team was in place.

'As soon as evidence of his inappropriate behaviour came to light, Oscar Gibbon was dismissed from the school and he has had no contact with the school since. His conduct was entirely inappropriate and unprofessional and was reported to the appropriate authorities, and the school was fully compliant with all safeguarding procedures.'

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