A physical education teacher at an exclusive boarding school has been banned for life after she was found to have pursued an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old pupil which involved lesbian sex.
A professional conduct panel has found that Lauren Chandler, 24, began a nine month relationship with the girl, known as Pupil A, in October 2012, bombarding the girl with texts throughout. According to the Telegraph, the pair exchanged flirtatious messages and pictures in which the referred to each other as “babe” and “beautiful”. The messages also contained repeated use of heart symbols.
Miss Chandler, who was also a residential house teacher at the co-ed, £7,400-a-term Dover College in Kent then invited the pupil to stay at her parents house over the half term break. The panel, run by the National College for Teaching and Leadership, heard that it was there that Miss Chandler and the girl engaged in two-way sexual relations.
Although the girl is under the age of sexual consent, no criminal investigation was mounted due to the pupil’s refusal to take matters further, in which she had the support of her parents.
Panel chair Marion May said: “We find that Miss Chandler’s conduct amounts to both unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.
“Miss Chandler failed to observe proper professional boundaries and this led to Pupil A who was a 15-year-old child at the time being exposed to inappropriate behaviour in a potentially harmful way.
“It is of particular concern that the relationship became sexual in its nature as this demonstrates behaviour consistent with criminal acts of sexual activity with a child.”
The panel have banned Ms Chandler from the classroom for life, after they found that her conduct was “sexually motivated.”
Paul Heathcote, a spokesman for the Department for Education said: “Miss Chandler has abused her position of trust by causing her relationship with Pupil A to develop beyond proper professional boundaries.
“She has committed serious sexual misconduct with a child and her actions were both deliberate and repeated.
“She has not demonstrated any remorse or insight into her behaviour having not engaged with this process in any significant way.
“I agree with the panel’s recommendation that prohibition is an appropriate and proportionate sanction.”
He added: “In the circumstances I have decided that the prohibition order will be without the opportunity to apply to have it set aside.
“This means that Miss Lauren Chandler 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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