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A science teacher banned after sending emails with kisses to students and encouraging them to drink alcohol

A science teacher banned after sending emails with kisses to students and encouraging them to drink alcohol

Kofi Dekye Acquaye 4 months ago 0

A teacher has been banned from her job after sending emails with kisses to a pupil and encouraging them to drink alcohol.

Laura Martland was a science teacher at Penketh High School in Warrington from March 2007 until her dismissal in September 2021 due to misconduct.

To discuss the accusations made against the 39-year-old, who was charged with not having a professional relationship with a student back in 2020–2021, a panel from the Teacher Regulation Agency convened last month.

She was given a prohibition order, barring her from the profession indefinitely, with a five-year review period after it was determined that she had demonstrated “unacceptable professional conduct and conduct that may bring the profession into disrepute.”

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The panel discovered that Miss Martland had corresponded via email with a student, identified as Pupil A. The emails were sent outside of school hours, included personal photos, and featured an ‘x’ signifying a kiss.

A second key allegation that the panel found to be proven was that Miss Martland failed to notify the school’s safeguarding lead that Pupil A had disclosed information relating to the consumption of alcohol at the earliest opportunity.

The problems started when Martland got in touch with a person identified in the report as Witness A on June 10, 2021. Witness A informed the panel that she requested that Miss Martland send a copy of the emails that she and Pupil A exchanged.

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On June 11, 2021, Miss Martland was suspended from the school due to concerns that she had not disclosed all of the emails that she had exchanged with Pupil A. During the investigation, the school gained access to Miss Martland and Pupil A’s email accounts.

The panel report notes: “It was noted that the email exchanges had occurred over several months; at first, they were related to school, but over time, they took on a more personal nature.”

The emails between March and June 2021 covered a variety of subjects, including Miss Martland and Pupil A’s matters. Of concern, Pupil A had made disclosures to Miss Martland which included underage drinking. ” Witness A informed the panel that students frequently corresponded with teachers via email while the COVID-19 lockdown was in effect.

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Pupil A also testified before the panel, stating that although they initially began exchanging emails with Miss Martland about work-related matters, over time they also began talking about personal matters. The report added:

As a result, the Panel found that Miss Martland had engaged in behavior that was inappropriate for a professional and that could have damaged her reputation. In June 2021, the academy identified a serious safeguarding concern relating to Miss Martland, who was subsequently suspended from duty.

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