Published On: Wed, Jan 21st, 2015 on 8:30 pm

Educating Yorkshire teacher banned from teaching for having sex with ex pupils

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A teacher who starred in award-winning programme Educating Yorkshire has been banned from teaching after having sex with two former pupils.

The National College for Teaching and Leadership found that Neil Giffin, 35, head of humanities at Thornhill Community Academy in Dewsbury, had slept with former pupils from his old school.

He has been banned indefinitely.

Mr Giffin taught at the Cheshire school between 2003 and 2012, and from 2012, he was employed at Thornhill Academy until his resignation on 14 April last year.

He was earlier suspended by the academy on 24 January 2014.

Mr Giffin faced 16 allegations, 15 of which he admitted or the panel said were proven.

He admitted sleeping with two former pupils aged over 18 when he was teaching at a different school around 2007 and 2008.

The remainder of the allegations involved inappropriate communications with three former pupils between 2012 and 2014 when he was teaching at Thornhill Academy.

He sent messages over Facebook and told one pupil, who was described by the panel as a “vulnerable 17-year-old”, that he was in a relationship and asked her what pupils thought of cross-dressing.

A report from the panel published today said: “In mitigation, Mr Giffin stated that he used the fake Facebook accounts to provide a form of escapism from the stress and pressures of his life at the time, including various personal and financial problems.

“The panel did not consider that these factors excused his behaviour.”

Decision-maker Paul Heathcote said: “Mr Giffin’s actions have been found to be sexually motivated. There is a repeated pattern of behaviour and there was clear potential for a vulnerable pupil to be harmed.

“Whilst he has shown regret, there is little evidence of insight into the impact his actions might have had on pupils.”

Mr Giffin is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.

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