Teacher banned from classroom for life after spending night with student
An ex teacher has been barred from the profession for life after he spent the night in a hotel with one of his students.
Former business studies teacher Christopher Houghton has been sacked from St Bede’s Catholic School and Sixth Form College, in Lanchester, County Durham, after exchanging around four months worth of text messages with a female pupil.
He then spent the night in a hotel with her in January last year.
The 41-year-old, who had worked at the school since 2002, initially denied that the hotel stay was sexually motivated – and claimed that it was a ‘spontaneous’ trip over concerns of the student’s welfare.
However a professional conduct investigation found that the hotel was actually pre-booked seven days earlier.
Houghton, who was described as an ‘enthusiastic and effective’ teacher, was handed his first written warning in March 2016, when the headteacher became concerned over his behaviour.
But the warning was not heeded, and Houghton proceeded to text the pupil from his personal phone in October 2016.
When the headteacher handed Houghton a second warning in December 2016, he lied about his contact with the schoolgirl and attempted to conceal his inappropriate behaviour.
In its ruling, the professional conduct panel said that Houghton ‘showed a lack of insight into his actions’ and that ‘there was a continuing risk that this behaviour could be repeated.’
The final ruling means that Houghton is prohibited from teaching indefinitely and cannot teach in any school, sixth form college, relevant youth accommodation or children’s home in England.
He is also unable to apply for restoration of his eligibility to teach.
The ex-teacher has 28 days to appeal the decision.