Former Leicester Grammar School deputy head banned from teaching after inappropriate relationship with ex-pupil
A former deputy head has been banned from teaching in any school, sixth form college, youth accommodation or children’s home in England after having an inappropriate relationship with an ex-pupil.
James Rich was employed at Leicester Grammar School in Great Glen from September 2012 to December 2018. He was initially employed as deputy head, and later worked as acting headteacher.
The Teaching Regulation Agency found that Mr Rich’s conduct “fell significantly short” of the standards expected of the teaching profession, having favoured one pupil and had a sexual relationship with her after she had left school.
Mr Rich was not present at the hearing and was not represented. He had denied the allegations.
The panel found allegations that “Mr Rich provided [the girl, known as] pupil A with private details of his family life”, and “making one or more comments about Pupil A to other pupils which were excessively favourable” proven.
The panel also found an allegation that after she had left the school, Mr Rich engaged in sexual activity with the ex-pupil, who was then over 18, on one or more occasions proven. The panel said it was satisfied that this “amounted to misconduct of a serious nature which fell significantly short of the standards expected of the profession”.
The panel said it was satisfied that the conduct of Mr Rich, in relation to the facts found proved, involved breaches of the Teachers’ Standards.
Members ruled: “Whilst the panel considered Mr Rich’s conduct to be sufficiently serious to require prohibition, the panel noted that Pupil A was over the age of 18 when the relationship became sexual, and that the relationship appeared to be consensual. The panel did not consider there was a particular risk of repetition, but found that Mr Rich had not yet developed appropriate insight as to the potential consequences of his actions.”
A two-year review period was given for the case, with the panel concluding: “The findings indicated a situation in which a review period would be appropriate and, as such, decided that it would be proportionate, in all the circumstances, for the prohibition order to be recommended with provisions for a two-year review period. The panel considered that a period of two years would give Mr Rich the opportunity to demonstrate insight into and remorse for his actions and conduct.”
Mr Rich was dismissed from Leicester Grammar School in 2018. At the time, the school said: “A disciplinary hearing has reviewed the evidence. It has found Mr Rich guilty of professional misconduct and he has been dismissed from his employment.”
A spokesperson for Leicester Grammar School’s Trust said: “He was acting head when a concern was raised in September 2018 and was immediately suspended. The school alerted the relevant authorities, and he was dismissed following a disciplinary hearing on the grounds of professional misconduct and referred to the Teachers Regulation Agency.
“Pupils’ safety is our overriding priority, and much has been done, both nationally and in our own schools, to reinforce further the safeguarding measures in place.”