A string of schoolgirls from a Malpas school have come forward and claimed that a disgraced teacher approached them via Facebook.
Former Bishop Heber High School teacher Neil Giffin has this week been banned from the profession for life after he was found to have had sex with former pupils from the school, after setting up fake social media profiles.
The 35-year-old, who left Bishop Heber in 2012 to take up a Head of Humanities post at Thornhill Community Academy School in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, used four different aliases to trick his ex-teenage pupils into chatting with him online and sent various text messages describing his sexual fantasies while still working at the Academy, which featured on the TV show Educating Yorkshire.
He was found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and was banned from teaching indefinitely by the Secretary of State.
Yesterday, Bishop Heber High School, where Mr Giffin worked for nine years, admitted the revelations have left them 'devastated', and the publicity had prompted five further pupils to come forward to claim they had also received Facebook messages from the same pseudonyms used by him.
Ian Callister, spokesman for education authority Cheshire West and Chester Council, said in a statement: “The Bishop Heber High School community has been devastated by revelations concerning a former member of staff.
“Immediately this issue came to light, the school triggered its robust safeguarding procedures, notifying the police, the local authority’s safeguarding team and parents of pupils involved.
“During his time at the school Mr Giffin was an exceptional teacher, well liked by colleagues and pupils. However, both the education authority and school recognise that his inexplicable and totally inappropriate behaviour left the NCTL with no alternative to the action taken.
“Publicity of this issue has today (Thursday) prompted five further pupils to come forward confirming that they had received Facebook messages from the same pseudonyms used by Giffin. None of them had taken the communication further.
“Bishop Heber High School is Ofsted-rated as “Outstanding” and this issue will not be allowed to affect either its extremely high standards or prized environment as a safe, happy and secure place for students to learn and grow.”
Mr Giffin has since expressed remorse for his actions, claiming he made the fake profiles as a form of 'escapism', admitting that he could see how some messages could be "deemed as being of a ‘sexual nature’ but at the time it didn’t appear to me like that but more of silly conversations.”
A panel from the NCTL heard how he told had one girl described as ‘vulnerable’ with special needs, that he was in a relationship and asked her what pupils thought of cross-dressing.
In another message he described his sexual fantasies, which included being dominated by her while she stood over him smoking in her school uniform.