A former Malpas teacher has been banned from the profession for life after setting up fake Facebook profiles and sleeping with two former pupils.
Neil Giffin, 35, who taught at Bishop Heber High School for nine years, used four different aliases to trick teenagers into chatting with him online, and sent texts to ‘vulnerable’ teenagers, describing how ‘sexy’ one looked in tights.
Giffin, who left Bishop Heber in 2012 to take up a Head of Humanities post at Thornhill Community Academy School in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, started contacting his ex-pupils on Facebook while working at the Academy, which featured on the TV show Educating Yorkshire.
The National College for Teaching and Leadership heard how he sent messages to three pupils using the names Guy Andre, Chelsea Smith, Frank Shepard and Alan Shepard.
The panel were told how he told 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.
Giffin, who expressed regret for his actions, admitted 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.”
He defended his use of fake profiles, saying they were ‘a form of escapism from the stress and pressures’ of his life at the time.
“I didn’t want them [them being the random people he had initially added out of boredom] to know who was looking at them. There was a disparity between common sense and logic,” he said.
But the panel said they did not find these factors excused his behaviour, and found him guilty of unacceptable professional conduct. He has been banned from teaching indefinitely by the Secretary of State.
They also highlighted the ‘inappropriate’ relationship Giffin had with a Year 13 pupil after the summer ball.
They said he had sex with her when she was over 18 and had left school to go to university. The pair dated for six months until he dumped her for another former pupil, the panel were told.
But the disgraced teacher argued this relationship did not take place when he worked at the school or when she was a student there and said they had met during a night out.
However, the panel found he had breached Teachers’ Standards and said the pupils had been ‘exposed to or influenced by harmful behaviour'.
“The Panel is satisfied that the conduct of Mr Giffin fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession,” they added.
“The Panel was concerned that there was a pattern of repetition.
“Having had an inappropriate relationship with a former pupil several years earlier, he again failed to maintain appropriate boundaries with three pupils from his previous school.”